Friday 7th January, 2022 at 3:58pm
There is only one player in the Thistle squad who has started every single game for the Jags in all competitions and that player is Kevin Holt. The versatile, reliable defender has missed just 110 minutes of a possible 2,250 so far this term, scoring three goals along the way and playing a key role in the team’s recent run of nine clean sheets in ten games. So, after a successful start to life in red and yellow at the end of 2021, Holt will look to continue his impressive performance into the New Year starting with this weekend’s trip to face Hamilton at the Fountain of Youth Stadium. He spoke to ptfc.co.uk ahead of the fixture:
“It’s been a bit frustrating for us lately because we’ve not been able to play games to build on the late winner against Raith but we’re now just looking forward to getting going again against Hamilton on Saturday.”
Thistle last played on the 18th December against Raith as Kevin mentioned and the full-back says it’s been strange having no games to play over a spell that is usually very busy in football.
“As footballers you’re used to playing around Christmas and through New Year’s at a time when you tend to get a good turnout from fans as well; they seem to enjoy coming to games at this time of year. So it’s been frustrating for them as well I imagine. There’s nothing we can do about it though so we just have to look ahead.”
The Maryhill men will have good memories of Hamilton away having won 6-1 at the Fountain of Youth Stadium earlier this season but Kevin reckons it’ll be a much tighter game this time round.
“It’ll be a different test from the last time we went there. I actually watched their game against Queens last week and they played really well to win 3-0. To be fair, they were up against ten men for most of the game but right from the start of the game they were very aggressive and dangerous going forward so I think it’ll be a tough one for us.
“Overall, they seem to have put the troubles they were having at the start of the season behind them. They’ve changed manager and he’s now had plenty of time to build what he wants to do with the team and the players seem to have bought into that so it won’t make for an easy game.”
Accies have only lost once in their last five league matches with the gap between them and the top five now down to eight points so Holt believes they’ll see this as a good opportunity to draw closer to the group at the top of the table.
“Obviously, we’ve got I think two games in hand on them but from their point of view they can come within five points of us with a win and in this league five points is nothing. On the other hand, we’ve got to see it as a good chance to keep them well away from us while also putting pressure on the teams above us with a couple of games in hand and then we can see where that takes us.”
Although the games Thistle have in hand represent good opportunities for Ian McCall’s side, Holt says the fact that the team are playing catch-up in terms of games put a bit more pressure on each fixture.
“Well, I think you’d always prefer to have points on the board. You’d rather build a lead and then challenge the other teams to try to chase you but it is what it is. We know that if we can go and win the games that we’ve got, we’ll be in a good position so that’s our focus.”
To finish, the number three gave us his thoughts on playing with no away fans on Saturday with Holt saying it’ll be a blow for the players.
“It’s kind of back to what it was like last year in terms of having to find different ways to motivate yourself. You’re not going to get that same lift from the crowd which I think we have had a lot this season. For example, against Raith they kept us going right until the end to get that winner but now coming back after a while without a game and with no fans, it’s up to us to make sure we’re locked in mentally and understand the importance of the game.”
Exclusive video interviews with a member of the Jags management team and Ross Docherty will be available for JagZone subscribers to watch today – log in to view.
Due to current national restrictions on outdoor event attendances, no Thistle fans will be able to attend Saturday’s game. A PPV live stream, provided by Hamilton, is available for supporters to purchase, priced at £10 – click here for more info.
We’ll have extended highlights and a full game replay of the fixture on JagZone following the game.
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