‘Tell him he’s Pele and get him back on.’ Famous words uttered by the infamous John Lambie and just the sort of inspirational gold which Partick Thistle need right now. Is there an inspiring candidate out there who can fill their managerial vacancy and elevate the Jags back to the top flight in Scottish football?
Many Scottish clubs have ‘off the field issues’ but, aside from failing at times to stock a wide enough range of half-time quinoa crisp flavours to satisfy the hipsters of Glasgow’s west end, Thistle are well run and respected. Pure Fitbaw interviewed commercial manager Ross Qualie about his attempts to secure additional revenue streams into the club to help ensure that the next Thistle manager has the right budget to get the club back to the top. There are plans for a new £4m state of the art training complex named ‘McParland Park‘ in honour of legendary Jags footballer and manager David McParland. In addition their fanbase includes Manpreet, the Maryhill equivalent of Perez Hilton, who gives them the best backing 280 characters on Twitter allows!
Partick Thistle should be an attractive proposition for a lot of managers but it has to be hoped that Gerry Briton and the board do not try and experiment with anything other than someone who knows the Scottish game well. The Scottish Championship is wide open and although Thistle are currently in 8th position they are only 10 points off the top of the league. There is still every chance of automatic promotion if this appointment is right!
Here are 3 candidates that Pure Fitbaw feel could really get the Firhill natives back into the top flight.
The former Scotland international has had mixed results as a manager. His biggest achievement was avoiding the drop with Coventry City despite the club entering administration, being deducted ten points and selling their top scorer. Finishing 18th in League One was a respectable outcome given the bleak circumstances.
At one point Pressley did manage a really exciting Falkirk team which contained a number of players, such as Jay Fulton (Swansea), Stephen Kingsley (Hull) and Michael McGovern (Norwich), who then moved onto bigger and better things. That could be appealing to Gerry Britton and co as Pressley does have an eye for a player and knows how to develop them.
‘Elvis’ would certainly bring the passion and guts which was sometimes missing under Alan Archibald.
It’s easy to look at the table and write Goodwin off but he is a young and hungry manager who encourages his team to play the right way and Alloa could be seen as unlucky with the way that results have gone against them this season.
Greg Gordon described the former St Mirren captain in issue nine of Nutmeg Magaxine as follows;
“Jim Goodwin has excelled so far in recruitment that has combined good lower league professionals with hungry youngsters plucked from the pool of elite u20 talent. In the process he has shown an eye for a player and a winning mentality that suggests he will soon follow the trajectory of previous young Alloa bosses Paul Hartley and Jack Ross in carving out a niche at a higher level”
A slightly under the radar option is current Edinburgh City manager McDonaugh. He has led the Citizens to 9 wins on the bounce in all competitions including victories against the likes of Clyde and Peterhead.
McDonaugh spent a lot of time working under Peter Houston at Falkirk and also worked as Head of Acadamy coaching for Hibernian. Considering the high quality of player both those clubs have developed over the years and the fact that Thistle are building a new training complex this could potentially be an interesting longer-term fit for both parties.
Edinburgh City have also been able to persuade the likes of Conrad Balatoni and Danny Handling to drop down and play in League Two when their capability is more fitting to the Championship and above. The footballing philosophy and passion that James McDonaugh displays would absolutely have been a selling point for both these players to drop down a level or two.
A key attribute each of the Pure Fitbaw candidates for Partick Thistle have in common is that they have a good history when it comes to recruitment. The January transfer window is looming and there is little margin for error for any club in the Scottish Championship let alone one which is underperforming.
Now that we have given you our three candidates we would love to hear what you think of our suggestions. Are you Pure Fitbaw and know of a better fit for the job? Are you a Thistle fan and have a favourite? Go to Pure Fitbaw on Twitter and vote in our poll or comment here with your thoughts.