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Match Preview

Queen of the South v Partick Thistle – 4th May 2019

The battle for Championship survival has gone down to the final day of the regular season for Partick Thistle as they seek to avoid a ninth place finish when they take on Queen of the South this Saturday.

Falkirk’s defeat by Dundee United last weekend means the Jags can’t be automatically relegated. However, should Alloa beat Ayr and Thistle lose to Queens then they would end up in the play-offs, facing four games to retain their second tier status.

The Maryhill Men haven’t faced Queen of the South since January when the Jags came away with a 2-1 win, although Gary Naismith’s side won the only previous meeting between the teams in Dumfries this term. Jags boss, Gary Caldwell, spoke to ahead of the vital game:

“We’re feeling positive going into the game. Our destiny is still in our hands and that’s the position you want to be in. There was obviously disappointment last weekend because we weren’t able to settle things against Ayr but we’ve looked over that match and feel like we’re well prepared for a big game on Saturday.”

The gaffer stressed the importance of getting the job done at Palmerston Park in two days’ time so that the Jags aren’t relying on results elsewhere to secure their place in next season’s Championship.

“Other games might go our way or they might not, as we’ve seen at various points of the season, but none of that matters if we go out there and do the business against Queen of the South. It’s down to us to go and perform and if we can get the win then that would be a good way to end a difficult campaign.”

There’s been a lot of chat regarding WhatsApp messages this week on social media but Gary Caldwell was keen to highlight what he learned from the exercise.

“It was about asking the players who they trusted in the squad to be out there on the pitch in those pressure situations. We wanted to find out a bit more about how the players were feeling, without the pressure of their teammates seeing what they wrote.

“It’s unfortunate that it was shared outwith our message group; that wasn’t the intention. It was a trust exercise and quickly we found out that there was someone in the group that we couldn’t trust, however, those who completed the task did it well and we learned some things from it that we think will be useful going forward.”

Gary then moved on to give us some team news for the weekend’s game.

“Scott McDonald trained fully on Tuesday and followed all the head injury protocols with our medical team so he’ll be back in contention. Tam O’Ware trained well on Tuesday too but he’s not quite ready to come back into the squad.

“Tam has worked extremely hard since I’ve been here to get back from his injury but he’s also been a massive help off the pitch in so many different ways which has made him a big part of the set up even as an injured player.”

Finally, with nearly 1000 tickets bought by Thistle fans already, Caldwell wanted to give a message to the travelling Jags support who will make the trip to Dumfries this weekend.

“The players really appreciate the support the fans give so we hope to see as many Jags as possible at Palmerston this week.

“It’s especially prominent at away games like the Alloa game in February or at Somerset Park last week when it stops the game from really feeling like an away match because there are so many of our fans there. It motivates the guys, particularly in the latter stages of games.

“Last week was frustrating for everyone and we understand the fans’ disappointment with the performance because it wasn’t good enough. We’re completely focused on securing our survival this weekend and we hope to see as many fans as possible there to help us over the line.”

A more detailed discussion with Thistle manager, Gary Caldwell, as well as preview interviews with Stuart Bannigan and Sean McGinty are available to Jagzone subscribers – log in now to see them.

Jagzone members will also be able to watch extended highlights and a full match replay of the game.

Can’t make it to Palmerston Park? Jagzone members can listen to live audio commentary of the match. JagZoneLIVE begins at 2:45pm on Saturday.

For a full list of all the great content you can access from just £5.99 per month as a Jagzone member, click here.

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