Scott Paterson: Gloves are off as top two go at it for No.1 Thistle slot

WE are lucky to have two really good keepers at the club and both of them have played their part well this year.

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Scott Fox's early season form for Thistle saw him receive a Scotland squad call up from Gordon Strachan
Scott Fox's early season form for Thistle saw him receive a Scotland squad call up from Gordon Strachan

I have often stated the importance of having a strong squad and competition for places at Firhill and the current goalkeeper situation is another example of that.

After playing such a key part in helping us win the title last season, Scott Fox started the campaign as our No.1 and was terrific for us until he got injured before our game with Kilmarnock last month.

Paul Gallacher came in and played that day and he has been excellent for us in the games against St Johnstone, St Mirren and Dundee Utd.

It was unfortunate for Foxy that he picked up the injury, but Gall has come in and done a really good job, like we always had faith he would do.

We knew when we brought him to the club that we could rely on him if called upon.

It is good to have the two of them battling it out. You need good competition across the squad and we certainly have that with two quality keepers in the first team just now.

There were a lot of clubs interested in getting Gall's signature in the summer so we were delighted when he decided to join us.

He is our goalkeeping coach as well, which is good for him and good for us. It is something he was looking to get into and he does both jobs really well.

He has been a really good addition to the coaching staff and he is passing on his experience to the younger players.

Paul and Foxy work well together and they are pushing each other all the time. It is Gall that has got the gloves just now, but Foxy is, of course, determined to get himself back in the team.

Scott was in great form and he got his Scotland squad call up, which was great for him and for the club.

After missing out against Killie, he wasn't fully fit the following week and when someone comes in and plays well, you know you might not get straight back in the team.

Foxy is a great keeper and he has stepped up a level from last year. He has kept us in a lot of games this season and made some excellent saves.

Having him pushing to get in the team gives myself and Alan Archibald a welcome selection headache to consider.

I was pleased to see another Jags keeper, Ryan Scully, playing well for Dunfermline against Rangers last week.

I watched the Scottish Cup tie on Friday and I thought Ryan did really well despite the scoreline.

He might have lost four goals, but he made some good saves and we are pleased to see him doing well through at Dunfermline.

He is a talented young keeper and his time on loan will do him the world of good.

He is playing at a good level in a team going well in League One and the fact that he is playing in competitive games will stand him in good stead.

He will learn from every game - and every mistake.

It is good for him and ourselves that he is playing regularly.

His contract is up in the summer, but we haven't spoken about the future yet with him.

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