PARTICK THIS­TLE

Evening Times - - SPORT - BY CHRIS JACK

THE man in the dugout will change for Partick This­tle. The aim for the sea­son will not, though.

For the first time in five years, the Jags will have some­one other than Alan Archibald on the touch­line when they face Dundee United this af­ter­noon.

It has been a tu­mul­tuous week at Firhill fol­low­ing the sack­ing of the man­ager but This­tle must get back down to busi­ness sooner rather than later.

And striker Kris Doolan in­sists the am­bi­tion of re­turn­ing to the Pre­mier­ship at the first at­tempt is still a re­al­is­tic one as This­tle get set for a new era this term.

Doolan said: “Just be­cause I’ve been here for such a long time, I’ve been through it all. I’ve seen the good and the bad. That may help.

“But there’s a fresh start and it’s still quite early in the sea­son. We need to get our fists around the rest of the sea­son and push our way to pro­mo­tion.

“Pro­mo­tion was the aim from the start and that has not changed. I don’t think it should change. I see the play­ers ev­ery day and I know how good they are.

“We have a squad that is very good and I’m sure the new man­ager will be ex­cited about how good a team he is tak­ing over. Then it’s about get­ting results on the park.”

It is one of the quirks that foot­ball throws up that the man op­po­site care­taker boss Gerry Brit­ton to­day will be the coach he at­tempted to land ear­lier this week.

Rob­bie Neil­son spurned an 11th-hour ap­proach from This­tle to suc­ceed Cs­aba Las­zlo at Tan­nadice and Doolan is ex­pect­ing a re­ac­tion from the un­der­per­form­ing United squad.

He said: “We treat ev­ery game as a mas­sive game. That’s been the men­tal­ity. It has to be.

“I’ve played in the Cham­pi­onship be­fore and there are no easy games no mat­ter who you are up against. Com­ing into Satur­day it’s a fresh start.

“That should make it a good game. It will be two clubs that feel fresh again.

“I’m sure Rob­bie Neil­son will be try­ing to put his stamp on United and we will be try­ing to show a new man­ager who­ever it is, how we can play.

“We are not go­ing out there to show Rob­bie Neil­son that he should have come here. We will be go­ing out to show our next man­ager what he is com­ing into and just how good this club is.”

Doolan seems des­tined to play an in­te­gral role for the next This­tle boss, who­ever that may be, but he owes much to the man that is now his for­mer gaffer.

The striker spent a decade play­ing with and work­ing for Archibald and has no doubts the 40-year-old will prove him­self once again when he re­turns to the touch­line.

“It’s been tough,” he said. “The full 10 years I’ve been here I’ve been be­side Archie, play­ing with him or play­ing for him.

“He wasn’t just a man­ager. He was my cap­tain and my friend. It’s tough but for the sake of the club as a busi­ness there are times changes have to hap­pen.

“I spoke to Alan af­ter it hap­pened at that was his view too. It was not per­sonal, it was just busi­ness.

“You don’t be­come a bad man­ager overnight. You can’t toss aside his record now he’s left the club – and I’m sure it won’t be tossed aside.

“He’s such a big fig­ure around this club that just won’t hap­pen. But he’s got all the at­tributes to go to an­other club and show ex­actly how good a man­ager he is.”

Kris Doolan speaks ahead of Partick This­tle’s home game against Dundee United in the league to­day

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