The Herald - Herald Sport
Doolan keen to finish the job against Ayr United
KRIS DOOLAN insists his Partick Thistle side will be looking to play on the front foot and grab the bull by the horns in tomorrow night’s play-off semi-final second leg at Somerset Park, despite their commanding position in the tie.
A Jack McMillan goal and a brace from Brian Graham secured a 3-0 win over Ayr United on Friday night, leaving the men from Maryhill tantalisingly close to a shot at promotion to the cinch Premiership.
The first goal is always important in every game of football but in matches like this, it can prove particularly decisive. If Thistle get it, they will leave their opponents with a mountain to climb but if the Honest Men can break the deadlock on the night, it has the potential to allow doubt to creep into the away side that can throw them off their stride.
Doolan has lost just one of his 16 games in charge since the club legend replaced Ian McCall as manager back in February, and Thistle’s propensity for seizing the initiative has played a large part of putting together that impressive run. For that reason, the 36-year-old will be looking for more of the same from his charges tomorrow night in Ayrshire.
“It’s like tournament football where if you win, you’re through,” he reasoned. “Our mentality is you need to win every game, we have to win every game of the play-offs, that’s the way we want to play, that’s the way we want to think about it.
“So we’ll aim for the first goal like we always do in every game and we’ll go from there. But our game plan isn’t to go and see what happens from Ayr United.
“We know what’s going to happen from Ayr United. We know they’re good at home, they’re going to want to attack, they’ll be met head on by the way we’ll attack. Just because we’re away from home won’t change anything to do with our approach to the game.”
Long-serving midfielder Stuart Bannigan missed the first leg after picking up an injury but Doolan is hopeful that his fellow hall-of-famer will be fit in time to contribute to the team’s cause against Lee Bullen’s side.
“He’s starting to get there,” Doolan added. “We will make a wee judgment on him during the week to see how we think he is but he’s on his way back.”