Saturday 1st December, 2012 at 9:12pm
Being knocked out of a cup competition isn’t pleasant and today was no exception and Thistle manager Jackie McNamara made no attempt to hide his disappointment when speaking to the press after this afternoon’s game.
“It’s disappointing, we wanted to get a good run in the cup. Wee things can change a game and the sending off was a big thing in this match.”
What was Jackie’s view on the incident?
“It was disappointing for us because it came from our bye kick. I’ll need to see the incident again and I’m not sure if there is an offside when they first win the header. Obviously Aaron Muirhead is on the wrong side of Craig Dargo and just how much contact there was I’m not sure. Craig Dargo certainly thought that there was contact. He’s an experienced player and I think that was a telling factor.”
Even a man and a goal down at the break Jackie still felt that his side were more than capable of getting back into the game.
“I said to the players at half-time that if they kept passing the ball they would create chances, which they did. I still felt confident that we would get a goal, even when the game went into injury time. We knew that towards the end they would get a few breakaways with us pushing forward but I felt that we were going to get something from the match and the players are gutted. They put so much into the game and a few things went against us but, you know, that happens.
“I’m proud of my players and the way that they kept battling even with ten men for such a long, long period of the match. I think they contributed to what was a good cup tie. It just wasn’t our day with the penalty save and Paul Gallacher has had another couple of good saves as well. As disappointed as we are to be out of the cup I can’t ask any more of my players.”
Aaron Muirhead’s red card was the fifth collected by a Thistle player this season and the manager stressed the importance of keeping a full complement of players on the park.
“Three of the games we have lost this season we’ve gone down to ten men and it is important that we keep eleven players on the park.”
Jackie’s opposite number, Jim Jefferies, was understandably delighted that his side had made it through to the next round.
“When you come here after what happened the last time we changed the shape of the team and we went with two solid banks of four with Dargo, who was excellent, just floating about. The gaps that appeared the last time didn’t appear this time. Apart from a couple of balls flashing across the face of the goal, and they have good delivery, we were the better team and created a couple of good openings before we scored. After the sending off the game went a little flat. We were comfortable up to the point that Jackie started throwing men forward and we squandered a lot of opportunities to finish the game off, and we were wasteful in the final third. We knew that they would be dangerous from free kicks and corners so we tried to avoid those kind of situations. They are very difficult to defend but I thought that we did that.”
Thistle though did get an opportunity to level the score with 20 minutes remaining and the Dunfermline manager had no doubt about the validity of the decision to award Thistle a penalty.
“It was definitely a penalty. It was great piece of skill from Erskine, Andy Dowie’s thinking he’s going to shoot and he’s turned inside. I wouldn’t blame Forbes too much for the penalty as I thought it was a fantastic save way down in the corner. You then think that it is going to be your day but we should have had them dead and buried before the penalty. ”
“I think that the first half an hour proved to Partick Thistle that Dunfermline are a good side. They were excellent the last time we played them, the played the best they have played this season. Today we’ve seen a better formation against them and even when they had eleven on the pitch they knew it was going to be a hard game. I think that this game proved, and Morton will have something to say as well, that this league is going to be keenly contested and there’s not a lot between the teams. It will be about who plays better on the day.”