Top-class talent in hunt for Jags role

PARTICK THISTLE have received applications from managers with English Premier League and European pedigree for the vacant managerial role at Firhill.

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Partick Thistle general manager Ian Maxwell
Partick Thistle general manager Ian Maxwell

The Jags will this week start drawing up a shortlist of candidates to replace Jackie McNamara, who left Thistle to join SPL side Dundee United last week.

Club captain Alan Archibald has been placed in temporary charge of first-team matters and will be assisted by former Firhill star Scott Paterson.

Thistle are favourites for the Irn-Bru First Division title this season and with a Ramsdens Cup final also on the horizon, the Jags job is attracting significant interest.

General manager Ian Maxwell told SportTimes: "There are guys that have managed in the English Premiership, there are guys that have managed at the top level abroad and there are some familiar names in Scottish football, guys that are keen to get back into the game.

"If I told you there were 35 names, you could probably guess 25 of them. That is the same for any job, though.

"I think we are an attractive job because we are not sitting bottom of the league.

"Normally when a manager leaves you are close to relegation but that is not the case.

"We are attractive for managers because if they can get us over the line then it is a promotion on their CV and that probably leads to a different type of manager applying."

The loss of McNamara and assistant Simon Donnelly was a huge blow to Thistle but it could still be a season to remember at Firhill as they look to claim a historic league and cup double.

The former Celtic team-mates made a significant impact in their first job in management and Maxwell admits the club will be taking a risk no matter who they appoint to follow in their footsteps.

He said: "Whatever happens, it is a gamble. You just need to take a decision and stand by it.

"You can look back 18 months and say that Jackie was a gamble because he had no managerial experience, but it worked out great.

"If you look at the managers doing well at the moment, not a lot of them had managerial experience when they took the job.

"Experience might be needed at this time but there are a lot of guys in Scotland who are in their first jobs and doing well. Even Neil Lennon went from the backroom staff at Celtic straight to the manager's job.

"It is interesting. You can argue about how it will go. Hopefully there will be a couple of meetings this week and we can try and put a shortlist together.

"There has been a lot of speculation saying that someone is a favourite or someone else has been ruled out. There are no favourites, there have been no discussions. There has been no list drawn up for anyone to be considered a favourite."

After a tumultuous week at Firhill, the focus will again be on football this morning as Thistle prepare for a trip to Raith Rovers on Saturday.

Archibald was denied his dugout debut at the weekend as the Jags' clash with Cowdenbeath was postponed but Maxwell is confident the Firhill legend will thrive in his new role at the club.

He said: "We were disappointed the Cowdenbeath game was off because everyone was ready to rally behind Archie and Shaggy.

"We wanted to get back playing after the week we had. We need to get everyone ready for Raith now.

"We would have taken a great support to Cowdenbeath and Archie is just looking to get on with the job in hand."

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