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Partick Thistle FC
Match Reaction

Heart of Midlothian v Partick Thistle – 12th March 2019

Partick Thistle’s Scottish Cup journey came to an end this evening as the Jags fell to a 2-1 defeat at the hands of Hearts in the quarter-finals. The two sides had met eight days prior, battling to a 1-1 draw and thus ensuring tonight’s replay.

Thistle went to the Scottish capital and managed to take the lead through Scott McDonald, however, their advantage was short lived as goals from Uche Ikpeazu and Sean Clare turned the game on its head before half-time. Conor Hazard saved a second half penalty to keep the away side in it but the Maryhill men were unable to capitalise meaning the hosts advanced to the semi-finals.

Thistle manager, Gary Caldwell, spoke to following the end of the match:

“I’m really proud of the team, first and foremost. We showed great determination and bravery out there; with and without possession. We’ve gone toe-to-toe with one of this country’s top teams over two games and we can take a lot from that.”

Although Gary admits there was a bit of disappointment in the manner of the goals conceded, he doesn’t want to be too harsh on a group of players who fought so well over the pair of games.

“As manager, the overwhelming emotion right now is pride in those boys. When I look back at the game, we should have done better with their goals but I don’t want to be too critical of the squad after that game. It’s my job to make those little improvements and we’ll look at the goals during the rest of the week but I can’t say they deserve a telling off after that 90 minutes.”

The gaffer mentioned the penalty decisions that came in extra-time that Thistle didn’t get on the night.

“I went and calmly spoke to the referee after the match and he was very good. He said the first incident with Joe Cardle was in no way a penalty and after watching it back, I think he got that one right. For the second one with Miles Storey, he says that he saw contact but couldn’t be sure that it was a penalty and that disappoints me a little.

“I’ve watched that one back too and I still feel it was a penalty. Nevertheless, I don’t blame the referee. He has a very tough job and that’s football, sometimes things don’t go your way.”

Caldwell is now looking to use the positives from tonight to build into the remaining games of the Championship season.

“We showed our improvement tonight in the way we battled with Hearts. They’re not an easy team to play against but we put in another good showing against them. We’re still improving though and we have to keep fine-tuning the team as we look to close out the season in good form.”

A more in depth video interview with Gary Caldwell is available now to Jagzone subscribers and will be followed by reaction from Stuart Bannigan and Joe Cardle – log in now to see them.

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

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