Jackie McNamara urges Partick Thistle to start afresh

By Annie McGuireBBC Sport Scotland
Jackie McNamara
McNamara wants his young side to improve on last season's fifth place finish.

Jackie McNamara is asking for a fresh start from his Partick Thistle side as the Scottish Football League gets underway this weekend.

The First Division side were knocked out of the Scottish Communities Cup last week by Third Division Berwick Rangers.

"Hopefully we can move on from that," the Thistle boss told BBC Scotland.

"I don't want any more weekends like that and the lads won't want to see that side of me again either."

McNamara and former Celtic team-mate Simon Donnelly are beginning their first full season at the helm of the Firhill club, after taking over from former manager Ian McCall.

They begin the campaign at home to Dundee, and McNamara will be looking on enviously on the large travelling support.

"The biggest thing that Dundee have is a fantastic support home and away.

"That's the 12th man in our league. It helped them through some difficult circumstances last year and we know the fans will get behind them right from the start so we know we need to do well.

"Thistle has always had a traditional support but those numbers have dwindled in the last few seasons.

"We have to put things right on the park and entertain them so that they'll come and watch.

"That can be the difference in terms of getting more money to get players to get us out of the division."

Overall though, McNamara feels the monetary constraints in the First Division will result in a hugely competitive season.

"The first division is naturally a more level playing field in terms of finance.

"There are one or two clubs who have spent a bit of money.

"Ross County have put a bit in this year and I think they'll be very strong.

"Morton have got some good players, Hamilton came down: I don't think anyone can call the winners of this league.

"Everyone is capable of beating each other."

Ross County start their campaign against Morton, while Accies are away to Ayr.

Livingston will hope to continue their run of back-to-back promotions against Gus MacPherson's Queen of the South, while Raith Rovers are at home to Falkirk.

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