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Partick Thistle FC
Partick Thistle FC

Rudden ready to kick on after international excursion

It’s first against second at the Caledonian Stadium this Saturday as Partick Thistle face Inverness in the cinch Championship. It also happens to be the division’s best defence against the division’s top scorers. Billy Dodds’ Caley Jags are yet to concede in four league games this season while Ian McCall’s side have netted an impressive 10 goals in their quartet of fixtures thus far this term. Zak Rudden bagged his first Championship strike of the season in our last league outing against Greenock Morton and will be keen to add to that as the Maryhill men travel north this weekend. He spoke to ahead of the game:

“I’ve enjoyed being back in with the boys these last couple of days having been away and I’m looking forward to going up to Inverness to try to get another three points.”

Rudden featured for Scotland’s under 21s against Turkey earlier this week, coming on as a second half substitute in a 1-1 draw with the Crescent Stars and he says he enjoyed the experience as he always does when he’s representing his country.

“It was good. Obviously I’d have preferred to have started but it was just good to be back in the set-up again. It’s always an honour to go and play for your national team at any level.

“It’s a unique experience because you’re playing against the best players at your age level from all across the world; players who play thousands of miles away at club level. You’re up against styles that you only experience when you’re playing these internationals and it does help you grow as a player.”

Due to his excursion with the 21s, Zak hasn’t played in Thistle colours since the Jags’ 3-0 win over Morton two weeks ago. On that day he got his first league goal of the new season and the number 10 reckons the team were deserving of their comfortable victory that afternoon.

“I think everyone was outstanding that day, we had nine-out-of-tens all over the pitch. They didn’t really get near us and we were clicking all over the pitch. We all looked like we knew our jobs defensively and then we were a threat with the ball throughout the game.

“I was delighted to get that goal; it was about time! Now, I want to build on that and try to score more goals to help the team further.”

Thistle have now recorded clean sheets in three of their last four games and Zak says he takes pride in the way he contributes to the team’s defensive efforts from the top end of the pitch.

“The gaffer always says that the defending starts at the front and that the full team needs to buy in to the defensive side of things. It’s definitely something that Brian and I take pride in up front because if we can stop the other teams attacks at source of force them into more difficult passes then it makes everything easier for the rest of the team.”

Heading North to take on a formidable Inverness defence, Rudden thinks Thistle need to show the same attacking intent they did against Morton if they want to get a result.

“We’ve scored three goals in all but one of our league game so far and even when we lost we got on the scoresheet so we go up there confident in our goal-scoring abilities. We know they’re going to be tough to break down but I think you have to go with the same positive mind-set to try to win the game.”

Exclusive video interviews with Kyle Turner and Thistle assistant manager Alan Archibald 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 Inverness, starting at 2:30pm – click here to tune in.

The home side are providing a livestream of the game which is priced at £15 – 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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