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Match Reaction

Partick Thistle v Ross County – 23rd February 2019

Partick Thistle’s excellent start to 2019 came to a shuddering halt this afternoon as Ross County came from two goals down to beat the Jags 4-2 in an action-packed fixture in Maryhill.

The hosts took the lead after 21 minutes thanks to Aidan Fitzpatrick before Christie Elliott grabbed a rare goal to extend the advantage. However, a quick start to the second half got the visiting Staggies rolling and four goals without answer from Thistle saw the Dingwall side leave with all three points. Jags boss, Gary Caldwell, spoke to following the conclusion of the match.

“We played absolutely brilliantly for 45 minutes; we were totally in control and could have been up by more against the best team in this league but then I think complacency is the word I would use.

“I told the players that as soon as you think you’ve cracked it in football, you pay a heavy price because you have to keep working, keep tackling, keep running to win any games.

“We’d also spoke about the first ten minutes of the second half and how it would dictate the game. We knew that if they got a goal, they’d get a second wind and that’s exactly what happened. They grew into the game while we fell away.”

Caldwell expanded on his point about complacency, describing how difficult it is to stop something like that, once it sets in.

“It’s very difficult to get rid of something like that once it arrives. If those players go out on the pitch with that mentality then it’s really impossible to turn it around. I tried to change the shape and the personnel but as soon as that first goal went in, everything changed.

“I didn’t see a reaction when they scored. I didn’t see enough positive body language. That’s because as a group of players, going out for the second half, they thought they’d done enough to win the game so hopefully they’ve now learned that they can never assume they’ve done enough to win before the game is over.”

The gaffer also noted that his side should have been more clinical with multiple chances to enhance the deficit wasted before the interval.

“When you have the chance to kill off a team like Ross County while you’re on top, you have to take it but we didn’t have that ruthlessness in the first half which could have really knocked the stuffing out of them.”

Although hugely disappointed with the day’s result, Gary knows there’s no time to dwell with another big match coming up on Tuesday night against Dunfermline at East End Park.

“We have to learn from the game and do it quickly. There’s a lot to be positive about at the moment looking at the last six or seven weeks and we can’t lose sight of that off the back of this game. We’ll go to Dunfermline in midweek fully focused on returning to winning ways.”

Finally, Gary updated us on the wellbeing of Stuart Bannigan who came off with an injury in the second half.

“I’m not sure exactly what the problem is at the moment. I think he was struggling with his hamstring but we don’t know how serious it is just yet.”

A more in depth video interview with Gary Caldwell is available now to Jagzone subscribers and will be followed by reaction from Christie Elliott – log in now to see them.

Highlights will be added shortly and will be free for Jagzone subscribers.

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