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Match Reaction

Falkirk v Partick Thistle – 17th November 2018

Partick Thistle ended a run of seven straight defeats this afternoon as they drew 1-1 with Falkirk at the New Falkirk Stadium. The Jags dominated large parts of the game against a tepid and defensive Bairns side and were able to make the breakthrough via a Craig Slater strike on 57 minutes. It was the Thistle number 17’s first goal in red and yellow but it wasn’t enough to win all three points as the Jags were pegged back just two minutes later Joe McKee netting for the hosts.

The game ultimately finished on level terms and, although the away side might have been disappointed with the draw, it did represent their first point on the road this Championship campaign. It also showed a continued improvement in performance as the visitors looked defensively solid and certainly asked the more difficult questions going forward.

Thistle boss, Gary Caldwell, spoke to shortly after the full time whistle. The gaffer began by reflecting on his side’s first away point of the season and the first point of his managerial reign.

“I thought they did very well to come away from home in a big pressure game and control the way they did. There was a good understanding of how we wanted to play and we showed real bravery in possession throughout .

“We were disappointed not to come away with more than just the one point but we have to focus on the performance. The three points will come and this is a start that we have to build on.”

Caldwell was keen to focus on the progress his team continues to make as the management team get ever closer to that elusive first win.

“We know where we are as a team and we need to improve week by week. There’s not going to be a week where it just all clicks; it’ll be bit-by-bit. The effort today was great once again and, at the end of the day, getting a point on the board is a positive step although it’s up to us to continue building as we go forward.

“We can take a lot from this game and it continues the pattern of progression in terms of performance that I think you have seen over the last few games. We only got the one point and I believe we deserved more but I have said to the players that that kind of performance has to give them belief. When we look back over the footage from the match and see all the positive play and good passing movement it should give the players more reason to believe in themselves and get better. If we can do that then we will turn those performances into wins, and not just one win, it can be win after win and we can put a run together.

“The way we built the play today I thought was excellent – the diagonal balls and switches of play. Admittedly I thought we could have been better in terms of how we played from there, we need to get the ball into the strikers more and force the defenders to defend, but they are small things that we can work on and they will come.”

Thistle defended well but weren’t often on the back foot. With the Jags being the team playing away from home this was one aspect of the contest that was particularly pleasing for Caldwell.

“As the away team you would expect to be a little under the cosh and have to defend but that wasn’t how it looked today. We didn’t have much to do at all defensively in the first half and defended well when needed in the second.

“As an overall performance we were really pleased. Credit to the players as well, when you have been through what we have been through this season but still show the bravery to get on the ball in difficult areas it really is first class and it gives us something to build on.”

Finally the gaffer gave an update on Cammy Bell who was unable to start the game after going down with an injury during the warmup.

“It doesn’t look great to be honest. He went to dive during the warmup and he felt something go in his calf or Achilles area, he was in a bit of pain. We’ll get him assessed over the next few days and take a view from there – hopefully it is not too serious.

“For Jamie Sneddon to come in with so little notice and show the composure he did was really good to see. He has trained really well since I first came into the Club and he’s been ready for that opportunity so it was great to see him grasp it with both hands today.”

A more in depth video interview with Gary Caldwell is available now to Jagzone subscribers and will be followed by reaction from Chris Erskine and Jamie Sneddon – log in now to see them.

Highlights will be added shortly and will be free for Jagzone subscribers.

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