Saturday 22nd September, 2012 at 8:58pm
Thistle this afternoon extended their winning start to the league season to a sixth game. It was, however, especially in the second half, a hard fought victory with Cowdenbeath posing us a few problems.
The first half performance, however, from Thistle was excellent and that was what manager Jackie McNamara choose to focus on first of all when he spoke to www.ptfc.co.uk after the game.
“I thought that first half we were superb. We passed the ball well and caused them lots of problems. We probably deserved to be further in front than we were at half-time. The second half started a little scrappy and then Cowdenbeath scored a fantastic goal with their first effort on goal. After that I felt that we got a wee bit nervy and anxious and tried to force things, whereas in the first half we were making passes and moving about and helping each other. Cowdenbeath got a massive lift from the goal they scored and at 1-1 Scott Fox has made a fantastic save. I’m delighted that we showed a bit of character and came back to score the winner.”
“You have to pay credit to Cowdenbeath. Colin Cameron has his side well organised, they defended well and they caused us a few problems. Looking ahead to the Ramsdens Cup tie at Central Park, we’re going have to make sure we defend long throw ins and such like well.”
“That was possibly a game that we wouldn’t have won last season. We had a wee lull in the second half when instead of doing what we did in the first half we started to make things a little difficult for ourselves. All credit to the lads though. I told them after the game that they can’t have it all their own way for 90 minutes and play great football. They need to be able to mix it as well.”
The winning goal was an own goal it was an excellent ball from Aaron Sinclair that led to it. Said the Thistle manager;
“If the Cowdenbeath player doesn’t put the ball into his own net then Chris Erskine is waiting to tap the ball home. We created chances throughout the game, we just needed to be a bit more clinical in front of goal today.”
While we were making it six wins from six, Dunfermline were making it five wins from six and they are breathing down our necks at the top of the table.
“Dunfermline are favourites for promotion. I said that at the start of the season. They’ve come down from the SPL and I think that makes them favourites. As good as the start that we’ve made to the season the lead we have at the top of the table is just three points. That’s something that I keep stressing to the players, we haven’t even reached the end of the first quarter yet. We’ve a really tricky game away to Raith Rovers next week and we will need to make sure that we are prepared mentally for that.”
The opening goal was a penalty converted by Aaron Muirhead and the manager had a few words of praise for the player who collected the Man of the Match award.
“He scored a number of penalties last season for Annan Athletic. He was close to double figures last season for goals. Not just from penalties but from set pieces as well. I thought that he was excellent today. He’s got a good range of passes and he talks well. He’s been excellent for us this season.”
Cowdenbeath manager meantime was delighted with his side’s second half performance.
“In the second half we got the ball down and starting passing it. We never did that in the first half. You need to give Thistle a lot of credit for that. They played some really good stuff in the first half. Their movement was excellent and it was hard for us. When we did win the ball back we weren’t able to keep it. I didn’t think though that they were getting in behind us, so we were defensively sound that way.”
“I was disappointed to lose the goal from the penalty. It’s a striker’s tackle from Marc McKenzie. After him losing the ball he was just keen to try and win the ball back but he didn’t need to put the tackle in.”
“We’re then 1-0 down then and we have nothing to lose. At that point we need to get the ball down and start passing it otherwise we are in danger of losing 3-0 or 4-0. I brought Lewis Milne on at half-time and he was excellent for us. He was prepared to get on the ball and make things happen. He’s played a great wee ball to Jamie Stevenson who scored with a great strike. That’s us back in the game and for 10-15 minutes we created a few chances and could have found ourselves 2-1 ahead. Then they’ve come back into it. At the winning goal I felt that Jamie Stevenson got caught sleeping when Sinclair came in round the back. I don’t blame Scott Linton at all for the own goal. There’s someone behind him waiting to tap the ball in if he doesn’t try and clear it. Even then he felt it was going past the post until it hit off Thomas.”
“I was delighted with how the players went about things in the second half. I felt that we lacked a bit of belief and that we showed Thistle too much respect in the first half. They need to start believing in themselves. I know how good my players are. I know that they are good enough for this division and stay in this league and I think in the second half they proved that.”