Saturday 10th November, 2012 at 9:08pm
It was an understandably very happy Thistle manager that spoke to the press after yesterday’s excellent 5-1 win over Dunfermline Athletic.
“I thought it was a fantastic day all round. The fans and the atmosphere was brilliant. Obviously the performance was very good, but the quality of the goals were excellent as well. It was a great day for the Club.”
The excellent crowd, our biggest home league gate for over 8 years, helped to create a special occasion which the players really responded to. A fact that Jackie was quick to point out.
“I think that gives everyone a lift. Credit to Dunfermline, they brought a big support through as well and that added to the atmosphere. I said to the players before the match that these are the kind of occasions that they should want to play in. It’s an opportunity for them to go out and show how good they are and to a man I thought they did that today.”
“I felt that we started the game really well and got the goal. After that Dunfermline came back into the game for a bit and managed to get an equaliser but over the 90 minutes I thought we were outstanding, everyone of the players. The desire of the players was excellent. Even at 3-1 and 4-1 they still want to get the ball and they still want to be positive. The energy that they have got to keep going is excellent. It helps of course when you are winning. Everyone gets confidence from that and wants to get the ball.”
The result didn’t come as a complete surprise to the Thistle manager.
“I know how good my players are and I know they are capable of getting results like that. We’ve scored a lot of goals on our own patch this season and we play the game with a high intensity.”
With Thistle now top of the league again are we now the favourites for promotion?
“For me Dunfermline are still favourites. Obviously today’s result is a massive lift for everyone but today was just three points and it will mean little if we don’t go on and win our next few games.”
In an outstanding team performance there was praise for Stephen O’Donnell who played in a different role yesterday.
“The funny thing was during the week he was panicking about what position he would be playing. It was the same last year when we played Morton. He said he couldn’t play in right midfield and ended up man of the match. He’s a nervous boy and I had to clam him and reassure him before I gave him the formation that we were going to play today. I told him just to go out and play and enjoy it. I thought that he took his goal really well. I think Dunfermline might have anticipated us playing three centre back and two wing backs so I managed to change things a wee bit and it worked well for us today especially in the first half when O’Donnell really got at them and caused them a lot of problems.”
There was praise too for Ross Forbes.
“I think we need to give special mention to Ross Forbes. I think that the lad has been fantastic since he’s been here. He’s a player that I would like to get tied up for longer. He’s only here until January at the moment and he’s only playing for appearance money. His desire to play football is excellent and he has a great ability.”
It wasn’t all good news yesterday, however, with Scott Fox picking up an injury that looks set to keep him out the side for a couple of months.
“I think it is a bad one and could be out for six to eight weeks. He slipped and tore his thigh. We’ll have a think about what we should do. It’ll be time for Hinchy the goalie coach to earn his corn.”
There was a place on the bench yesterday for Mark McGuigan who had been recalled early from his loan spell at Albion Rovers and the manager explained his thinking behind that decision.
“He did well at Albion Rovers and has looked good in training. Although he’s been out on loan he’s still been training with us. The whole thought of sending him out on loan was to give him confidence and get him games. Albion Rovers maybe weren’t too happy that we brought him back early but with Steven Craig out today and out next week and with players like Sean Welsh and Stuart Bannigan injured I didn’t want our squad to get too shallow at the moment.”
Dunfermline manager Jim Jefferies meantime conceded that his side had been beaten by a better team on the day.
“These games are always won by the side that wants it more and right from the off Partick Thistle wanted it more. We were lucky very early on I thought when a corner came in. We spoke before the game about not giving them at lift and Thistle got a massive lift from that and then took the lead.”
“After it went 1-0 it died down a wee bit after they had started very well, and credit to them for that. We started to get a grip on the game, we started to get our passing going, we scored a goal to get an equaliser and then we missed a fantastic chance with Ryan Wallace and if he scores you never know it might have gone on and been a different game. The key thing to whole thing was a few minutes after that when we didn’t do our job properly at a set play. If you aren’t matching the other team in terms of desire and will and then you make mistakes like we did today, then you are in for a hard time of it.”
“You will never beat a very good Partick Thistle team if you have five or six players that aren’t up for the task on the day. Credit to Partick Thistle, they played very well today and scored some cracking goals.”