The way some operate in modern football can be testing at times- which is why Scot Fox is so pleased with Ian McCall’s back-to-basics Partick Thistle approach.
Whilst they have only risen one place since the former Ayr United manager took over from Gary Caldwell, they aren’t looking down the barrell of League One football anymore. There’s an eye on the top four whilst they look to fully secure their Championship status.
A run of three wins in December were had before drawing to Alloa last weekend. It’s a big improvement and they could be just four points off fourth if Dundee are beaten by Ayr and Thistle manage to record a stunning win over neighbours United.
Fox, who was speaking to promote the Jags partnership with Glasgow Clan, reckons that this upturn is down to McCall’s methods: “Everything is simpler.
“He’s used his experience to simplify our football – everybody knows their jobs and when every individual is aware of what he needs to do within our formation then that makes it easier for everyone. Once you get results and see that approach is working, you buy into it. Players can be overloaded with information at times, which seems to be part of the modern way.
“It’s gone from being a simple game to one where people want to look at it in depth and analyse this, that and everything else. That becomes a burden, especially when you end up concentrating more on the opposition than on your own performances. I’m a simple guy so the gaffer’s approach suits me
“It’s 11 v 11 and the team that makes the least mistakes will win. When you take that into consideration and play your football in the right areas of the pitch, it works. Football is changing and I know certain people want to play in a certain manner but sometimes old-school ways will still work for you.
“It’s not Manchester City or Barcelona we’re talking about here – the facilities, the pitches and conditions are different and so is the ability of the players.”
McCall wants players permanently committed to Firhill
Meanwhile, the Jags boss himself has opened up on the club’s transfer stance. Thistle have opted for the loan market regularly in recent times, with Reece Cole and Osman Kakay notable successes this term.
It’s something that McCall wants to get away from though. He says the chopping and changing of players at the club is something he wants to halt, although he says some may still arrive on loan in the near future.
“We’ve let five or six players go already so we’ve got to try and get some in, but January isn’t an easy month,” explained McCall. “We’re very proactive in that and hope to have some tied up over the next two or three weeks.
“One of the chats I’ve had with the powers that be is that we may have to make one or two loans. I do feel though in the last couple of years has been stop-start, sign ten players in January, release ten.
“They do their job to keep the club up and then they’re away again. You’re starting again after that so I’d like to think we’re able to get two or three on longer-term contracts in January.
“It’s so that at the start of next season, I’m starting with 13-14 players rather than seven or eight. We’ve got a great network of scouts but for the Championship there’s a certain type of player who can do well in it.
“There’s certain type of young player you can develop e.g. Michael Rose or that type of player. His value is now £2 million by all accounts. Reece Cole we’re hoping to persuade to sign a contract.
“There are a number of players we’re trying to entice here.”