Saturday 6th October, 2012 at 9:01pm
It was a deflated Thistle squad at the end of yesterday’s 3-1 defeat, our first in the league this season, at Cappielow. There was no doubt what aspect of the defeat disappointed the manager the most when an angry and bitterly disappointed Jackie McNamara spoke with www.ptfc.co.uk after the game.
“I said to the lads before the game that the biggest threat from Morton would come from corners and set pieces and that we would need to defend them properly and make sure we won the second balls.”
The manager was angry too over a decision not to award his side a penalty in the second half with the game still very much in the balance.
“Over the piece I thought that we deserved more from the game. I felt that we should have had a penalty. I thought that it was a blatant penalty and everyone could see that it was a handball inside the box. As for the sending off, I’ll need to have another look at the second challenge to see whether it was worth a yellow card. The first yellow I didn’t think was a booking. I couldn’t understand how that was a yellow card but the foul on Chris Erskine wasn’t. That was much more of a goal threat than a foul just inside your own half was. I asked the referee about that at half-time and about the consistency of his decisions.”
Defeated Thistle may have been yesterday, but it was still a spirited display that wasn’t lacking in effort and determination.
“I said to the players after the game that I was delighted with the effort that they showed throughout the game. It’s not nice losing and it wasn’t nice losing in that type of game. The fans really stuck with us as well right to the end and they applauded the players for their effort at the end of the game. I was just hoping that we would be able to give them something for that support. We’ll just need to dust ourselves down and get on with things. We’ve a semi-final next Sunday to look forward to.”
The manager made a couple of changes from the previous week’s fixture with Ross Forbes and Steven Craig starting the game and the manager took a little time to assess their contribution to the game.
“I thought that Ross tired a little bit in the second half but otherwise did well. There’s a really fine line between losing and winning and that showed with two free kicks that he had. One that the keeper made a really good save from and one that hit the post. At the other end I don’t think that Scott Fox has had too much to do.”
“I thought in the first half Steven was excellent. The dynamics of the game changed in the second half following the sending off, but in the first half he caused the Morton defence all kinds of problems.”
There was also a Thistle debut for new loan signing Paul Slane.
“He’s obviously just come in and he’s getting his fitness sorted out. I want to have competition throughout the team and Paul’s arrival helps with that. It makes team selection difficult, but that’s the kind of problem that you want as a manager.”
For Sean Welsh, however, yesterday’s game came probably just a little too soon for his return as the manager explained.
“Sean just trained Thursday and Friday and he is a really important player for us and the decision not to include him today was a precaution as much as anything . With a full week’s training behind him he will be in contention for a place in the side next week.”
Focus now is now firmly on next Sunday’s Ramsdens Cup Semi-Final with Cowdenbeath with the manager acknowledging that certain aspects of the Thistle performance will need to improve if we are to reach our first Final in the competition.
“It’s a tight pitch at Central Park and we’ll face the same things there that we did today. We’ll need defend set pieces better, especially corners.”