Saturday 19th January, 2013 at 9:22pm
Yesterday brought Thistle their first win of 2013 and a welcome three points. It was a happy and contented manager Jackie McNamara then that spoke to the press after the game; waiting patiently for the [link:HOME] reporter to finish a phone call before commenting;
“I thought that was a great win for us. There were wee spells in the game that were turning points in the game. They had a chance to go 2-2 although we had a chance just before it to go 3-1 ahead. At that stage I felt that the next goal would be crucial and fortunately Conrad got that goal for us.”
“It was nice to see us take our chances today. What a great finish it was from Chris Erskine for his second goal and in the first half McGovern has had a great save from Sean Welsh. I was right behind it and I thought it was in all the way but McGovern has been able to get it round. If that goes in then it is a different game and I thought that we were a little edgy at the start of the second half. They passed the ball and had that chance that I mentioned. Fortunately for us he missed it.”
Jackie was delighted that his side had recorded a win that he felt had been coming in recent weeks.
“To be honest with you I didn’t think that we had been poor and I said to the players before the game that we hadn’t merited some of the results we’ve had recently but it’s all about finishing teams off. Hopefully the players will get a good bit of confidence from doing that today. Today we could have a good six or seven goals which is encouraging. McGovern’s had that save from Welsh and in the second half he’s saved from Bannigan and Erskine with Forbes sending the ball over the bar. I’ve felt for the last few weeks that a goal rush has been coming.”
There was praise for Conrad Balatoni who had scored an unfortunate own goal at Dumbarton last weekend.
“Conrad has a great knack of getting on the end of things. I said to him a couple of weeks ago about the number of things he gets on the end of it inside the box and the chances he gets so I was delighted for him today. After scoring an own goal last week it was a great boost for him to score two today.”
With both Stephen O’Donnell and Aaron Muirhead missing there were a couple of unfamiliar players, firstly Stuart Bannigan and then Sean Welsh, occupying the right back role during the course of the game.
“Stuart Bannigan can play anywhere. The wee man is a great footballer. That’s what he earns his living as; a footballer. We obviously changed things around and put Welsh back to right back and I don’t think that disrupted us at all. I was delighted with everyone today; including the subs that came on during the game.”
Finally the manager provided us with an update on the condition of Steven Lawless who received a nasty facial injury during the first half.
“That’s the only downside of the game today. He’s in hospital with a smashed cheekbone. I thought at the time that it looked bad. He’s got there first and it’s hit off the keeper. If it happened the other way then it would have been a free kick. The important thing though is that it hopefully won’t prove to be too long term as he is a big player for us.”