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Match Reaction

Manager’s Reaction: Celtic – 25th September 2019

Partick Thistle travelled to Parkhead to take on Celtic in the quarter-finals of the Betfred Cup this evening as the Jags aimed to end a run of nine straight domestic trophies for the Hoops. Unfortunately, it was not to be for the Maryhill men as Neil Lennon’s side ran out 5-0 winners in the east end of Glasgow. The travelling Jags were only trailing by one at the interval but a second half blitz from the Bhoys made it a handsome victory to send them to the semi-finals. After the match, new Jags boss, Ian McCall, reflected on his first match back in the Thistle dugout beginning by summarising the testing 90 minutes.

“It was a good first half but I knew Lenny would have a go at them at half-time and losing the goals so early in the second half killed us. The scoreline didn’t flatter Celtic, you just need things to go for you and a couple of moments went against us instead of for us – Tam’s goal being ruled out and then Ntcham hits one that could go anywhere. They were two great finishes to be fair.”

The hosts showed their quality in the second half and the gaffer’s focus is now firmly on his first league game away to Inverness.

“After their start to the second half it was just a case of getting through the game with no injuries ahead of Saturday and we managed that. It was great to be back in a Thistle dugout but Celtic just have so much quality, so there’s no complaints.”

Despite the score, Ian is taking positives from the match as he continues to get to know his new squad of players.

“We had some good moments in the game; their ‘keeper makes a really good save at 1-0 and then Tam’s goal gets ruled out which was a tight one. I think we all felt a little bit underprepared because one small training session isn’t enough but, to their credit, the boys stuck to their task.

“I’ve said to the players, they won’t be judged on tonight. I’ll have no negative judgements, there may be some positive ones, but there’ll be no negative judgements based on tonight’s game. That will come over the next two or three weeks starting on Saturday, we want to go there and get a result but then, Monday, for me, it really starts.”

A more in depth video interview with Ian McCall is available to Jagzone subscribers now  – log in to view.

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