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Match Reaction

Queen of the South v Partick Thistle – 4th May 2019

With Partick Thistle’s status as a Championship side still not secure with one game to go, it all came down to today’s clash with fellow strugglers Queen of the South at Palmerston Park.

The Jags and Doonhamers did battle aiming to avoid a dangerous ninth place finish. Thankfully for those in red and yellow, they were able to pick up a 3-0 win in Dumfries with the backing of more than 1500 travelling Thistle fans.

Lewis Mansell opened the scoring early on with his first goal as a Jag before Scott McDonald made it two rather fortuitously. Then, finally and fittingly, Thistle skipper, Stuart Bannigan scored from the spot to make it three after McDonald had been fouled in the box.

All in all, it made for an enjoyable afternoon at the end of a tough season and Jags boss, Gary Caldwell spoke to after the game’s end:

“I thought we were excellent today in such a high-pressure game. We controlled things overall and were very composed while also taking the game to Queen of the South right from the first minute. I don’t think there was ever much doubt over which way the result was going and the boys deserve a lot of credit for stepping up to the plate on a big afternoon.”

The gaffer was particularly pleased with the way his side responded following a poor showing last weekend against Ayr United.

“We’ve been under a lot of pressure every week for a while now because of the position we put ourselves in earlier in the season but recently, whenever we have been knocked down, we’ve got straight back up again and this is just another example of that.

“The boys have shown great bravery in recent weeks and it’s in moments like these that you really grow as a player and as a person. You learn things about yourself and your teammates in these crunch games and hopefully we’ve come out the other side of this season having learned from it.”

While Caldwell was obviously pleased to confirm Thistle’s Championship survival, he knows that this season hasn’t been good enough and that the Jags need to be fighting at the right end of the table next term.

“There isn’t joy in that dressing room, I wouldn’t say. There’s relief, of course, because for a while now we’ve had to make survival our main goal and we’ve got there today. But everyone knows that it’s not been good enough over the season and that we need to do better going forward.

“This Club is a Premiership Club and as manager of this Club my goal is to get us back to that level. Since January there’s been improvement and there is a togetherness about this group but we have to continue to improve and carry that into next season.”

Gary also had a word for the fans who travelled in huge numbers to Dumfries and gave impeccable support throughout the 90 minutes at Palmerston.

“They were incredible once again. Their support has been huge in my time at the Club. I know that it’s not easy when the team is losing games and they had every right to be frustrated but they kept coming along and giving their support which meant a lot to the team.

“That goes even more so for away fans because it can be very expensive travelling to each game so to keep coming through the good spells and the bad is admirable and we’re very thankful to them. Hopefully, they continue coming next year and we can give them a team to really be proud of.”

A more in depth video interview with Gary Caldwell is available now to Jagzone subscribers as well as reaction from Lewis Mansell and Scott McDonald – log in now to see them.

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

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