Thistle want six of the best!

12/05/11- NEW PARTICK THISTLE MANAGER-JACKIE McNAMARA
12/05/11- NEW PARTICK THISTLE MANAGER-JACKIE McNAMARA

HIGH-flying Partick Thistle aim to make it six of the best this weekend, but gaffer Jackie McNamara has warned his troops against complacency.

Thistle have racked up five straight wins in all competitions, including an opening league double over title favourites Falkirk and Dunfermline.

Saturday’s game against newly-promoted Dumbarton looks like win number six on paper, but 
McNamara knows games are played on the pitch.

Dumbarton have struggled since making the step up and sit joint-bottom following two heavy defeats.

But McNamara insists a lapse in concentration could well see his side’s perfect kick-off fall to pieces.

He said: “It has been a good start for us, sure, but the players know they have to remain focused and professional or we will be punished.

“Dumbarton were promoted pretty late in pre-season and in a situation like that it takes time to get settled.

“But they will pick up points in this league. We have seen it time and time again in the First Division – anyone can take points anywhere.

“They will want to start getting points on the board so they don’t get left behind at the foot of the table, so we need to be aware of the threat they carry.

“We can be sure Dumbarton will come here this Saturday and give us a game so we really can’t afford to let our form drop.”

McNamara believes squad harmony has been the backbone of his side’s early season form, with his summer captures blending effortlessly into the team.

He argues the arrival of Hugh Murray, Steven Lawless, Sean Welsh and Aaron Muirhead – all of whom signed in May – should not be overlooked as the Jags strolled through pre-season unbeaten.

The Partick manager credits the actions of the club board who, in the wake of the Rangers fiasco and the loss of Glasgow Warriors’ revenue, approved a competitive budget as early as possible.

“The start we have made this season has been in total contrast with the last time around,” he explained. “This time last year we were out of both cups and had lost the first two games of the season so these past five games have been very encouraging.

“Our pre-season training was much the same this time around, but I feel the new players we have brought in this summer have energised the squad and made sure we hit the ground running.

“That’s really down to the board who have been excellent in helping us to get the squad ready for the season. By giving us our budget early, we were able to go out and sign the players we had targeted quickly and before others could get involved.

“We were able to introduce the new guys to training early and built the on-park relationships right away – it is evident our good start is a result of getting the squad settled as early as we could.”

The summer transfer window will slam shut next Friday and, although he remains satisfied with his squad at present, McNamara refused to rule out a move before the end of next week.

After hosting Dumbarton this Saturday, The Jags face a cup and league double-header against Hamilton Accies.

Thistle travel to New Douglas Park on Tuesday night (7.45pm) for the second round of the Scottish Communities League Cup, before the two sides meet at Firhill in the league the following weekend (Saturday, September 1).