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Partick Thistle FC
Partick Thistle FC

Rudden hungry to be back among the goals

It’s been a frustrating period for the striking department at Partick Thistle with the Jags unable to score in the three matches since their 6-1 win over Hamilton at the Fountain of Youth Stadium. One of the frustrated frontmen for the Maryhill men has been Zak Rudden whose best chance of the last three games came against Morton when a fantastic Jack Hamilton save denied him the opening goal after two minutes. Rudden spoke to ahead of Thistle’s trip to face Kilmarnock at Rugby Park, starting by reflecting on the team’s draw with Inverness last weekend:

“We were alright at points in the game. I think in the first 20 minutes we were really good but it just kind of slipped away from us after that. I had a couple of chances in that first half that I should probably take but we now just need to bounce back this week and have a right good go at Kilmarnock.”

Zak admitted he was left ruing his chances after the game but knows the team can get back to their goal-scoring best sooner rather than later.

“It’s frustrating to miss the chances without a doubt but every striker is going to miss chances so you just have to keep going. At least in the first half we were creating those chances whereas in the second half we didn’t really threaten their goal enough and that’s something we need to improve on.

“I think we need to keep that belief that we will score goals. If we miss a chance then don’t let the heads go down and trust that the next one will fall for us. We know we can score goals and be clinical, the Hamilton and Ayr games showed that so we’ve got to find a way to get back to that.”

More positively, it was a third consecutive clean sheet for the Firhill side and Rudden says that provides a good base for the attackers to work off.

“The big plus from the last three games has been that we haven’t conceded any goals. That’s gives us a good platform to play off and we now go into games knowing one goal might be enough. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to find that one goal in the last three matches but if we can continue that defensive strength then I do believe the goals will come back soon.”

Zak and Brian Graham have scored a combined 17 goals in all competitions this season and the number 10 says he’s developing all the time alongside the ex-Ross County striker.

“There’s a lot I can learn from him. Last season I was in and out at times but over the last ten games or so we played a lot of minutes together and formed a good partnership and that’s continued this season.

“I’m always trying to pick up little things from Brian, even just by watching him play during the game like when he makes a mistake and the way he reacts to it. If he has a loose touch and gives the ball away then he makes sure he holds the next one and makes a smart pass and that’s something I’m trying to implement more in my game.”

Going to Kilmarnock this weekend, Rudden knows it’ll be difficult to get a result against Tommy Wright’s side having already been beaten by them at Firhill earlier this season.

“It’ll be a really tough game and they’ll make things difficult for us by getting in our faces. They’ve got quality throughout their team and showed they can score goals by winning 4-0 last week so it’ll be a real test for the defence and the attack.

“We’re not far off things at the top but we will need a few results if we want to be right up there and going to the league leaders and winning would certainly be a big help. No team in this league has looked invincible so we have to go to Rugby Park with confidence and look to get what would be a massive three points.”

Exclusive video interviews with Thistle assistant manager Neil Scally and Scott Tiffoney will be available for JagZone subscribers to watch today – log in to view.

JagZone subscribers will be able to tune in to live audio commentary for our clash with Kilmarnock, starting at 2:30pm – click here to tune in.

We’ll have extended highlights and a full game replay of the fixture on JagZone following the game.

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