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