Partick Thistle manager Ian McCall is hopeful he can guide his side into the last eight of the SPFL Trust Trophy when they travel to Dumfries to take on Queen of the South tonight – and the Jags boss will be without Rangers loan duo Jake Hastie and Lewis Mayo against the Doonhamers.

Hastie is cup-tied after featuring for Rangers B earlier in the competition while Mayo is away with Scotland under-21s and played last night as Scot Gemmill’s side slipped to a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Denmark.

The Partick Thistle boss is well aware that the SPFL Trust Trophy – formerly known as the Challenge Cup – is much-maligned in some quarters but thinks a run to the later stages will see fans “start to take it seriously” and really turn up in their numbers.

A win over Allan Johnston’s side would set up a tie with Montrose or Morton in the quarter-finals and McCall predicts five or six thousand Thistle fans could attend the final if – if his side can get that far.

“I think it livens up once you get to the quarters or semis,” McCall said. “Obviously we need to make one or two changes.

“Jake Hastie is cup-tied and Lewis (Mayo) is playing with Scotland under-21ss. Allan (Johnston) will be the same, it’s a game of football you want to win because once you get to the quarter-finals then people will start to take it seriously.

“If we’re lucky enough to get to the final then there will be an awful lot of thistle fans going to the game, probably 5/6,000, so it’s a game we want to win”.

Partick boss full of praise for Jags stars

After ending a run of three consecutive defeats last weekend against Ayr United, McCall was full of praise for his side’s performance against the Honest Men and insists the “confidence never wavered” despite losing three on the bounce.

The 4-0 win over Ayr leaves Partick seven points off leaders Inverness CT but with only four points separating second through to fifth in the Championship, McCall lamented the individual errors that have allowed Thistle to fall a little bit off the pace.

“We felt that the three games we lost in a row, we could quite easily have won two and drew one of them,” McCall added. There are some individual errors in there that you need to cut out.

“Even the Inverness game, if we managed to win that one, which we could have been 2/3-0 up at half-time, the league would be incredibly tight.

“The confidence never wavered but we changed it a wee bit on Saturday and I think going forward, particularly in the second half, we were excellent.

“We had to be patient because of the way Duff (Jim Duffy) set Ayr up”.

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