Friday 3rd August, 2018 at 4:11pm
As Thistle start life in the Ladbrokes Championship on Saturday, Chris Erskine reiterates there is one common goal for Thistle this season – Promotion back to the Ladbrokes Premiership.
Thistle travel to Ayr as the quest gets underway and Erskine feels there is a sense of excitement in the dressing room as they get started.
Speaking to ptfc.co.uk he said: “We have one goal in the changing room and that is to get promotion back to the Premiership. That goal starts on Saturday and we have to go out there and make that happen.
“We’re all looking forward to the league season starting. It was good to get through in the Betfred Cup but the league is our main priority and we are excited to get it started.
“We know Ayr will be right up for it on Saturday, they will be on a high after last week and also they will be getting the league flag from last season. We’ve experienced that and the adrenaline that brings. We have to make sure we match their hunger and desire all over the pitch and really make sure we fight right from the start.”
Ayr ran out victors in the cup game between the sides on Saturday and Chris admits lessons have been learned and worked hard on
“It wasn’t a good enough result against Ayr last week, we scraped through in the competition but we know we weren’t good enough in that game. As soon as we came off the pitch we knew we didn’t do enough. We didn’t get in behind them or do enough to try and hurt them; we passed the ball but didn’t do enough with it or move it fast enough.
“The manager spoke to us after the game and in training this week and we’ve been working hard all week. We didn’t test their centre backs at all or stretch the game, we want to play nice football but we need to do it with a purpose and create more.”
Along with Kris Doolan, Stuart Bannigan and Christie Elliott, Chris is one of the Thistle side who won the First Division back in 2012/13, so he knows what is required.
“I was part of the squad that won the league last time out, I’ve been there and I know what is required. Team spirit is important and I think we are certainly building that, we’ve got a good group of boys in the dressing room, the guys who have come in are good guys and we’ve all got each other’s back. That’s important, both on and off the park. We are all fighting for the one goal and we are fighting together.
“As an older player and one that was here last time, I’ll obviously try and lead by example and make sure the younger lads know what is required, it’s a long hard season but we have to take each game as it comes, don’t get too ahead of ourselves and start by going out and starting the season the way need to.”
In 2012/13 a bright start helped propel The Jags to the title and the Thistle number ten is hoping for more of the same on Saturday.
“We know a good start is important, when we done it before we had a great result on the first day against Falkirk, we were a couple up within 15 minutes and build on that for the rest of the season.
“If you go out and get the season off to a good start you set your standard for the season, you set that level of performance you have to meet and you build on that as the season goes on.”
The focus of promotion isn’t only shared by those in the dressing room but every person in the Thistle support and Erskine knows the fans will give tremendous backing to help with that goal
“We know the fans will be great with us, they always travel well, everywhere we go we know they will back us and that will help us massively over the season. I imagine Ayr is a good ground for the fans with the terracing and being up close to the pitch so hopefully we can give them something to send them home happy. We all want the same thing this season and the fans will play their part too, together we can achieve that goal.”
This week was nine years since the fan favourite made his first appearance at the Energy Check Stadium at Firhill and he is still loving it all these years later.
“I can’t believe it’s been ove rnine years since I made my debut. It’s absolutely flown in. It’s strange, I feel like I’ve been here forever but it still seems two minutes ago when I was first pulling on that shirt.
“I’m extremely proud, I’ve come from junior football and this is my tenth season of playing football professionally, to be still doing it all these years later is a something I’m proud of and I still love every minute.
“I love being a Partick Thistle player, I know we are going to be in the championship this season and last season didn’t go to plan but there is nowhere else I would rather be.”
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