Firhill fightback: Why Partick Thistle are clicking at a crucial time

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It was doom and gloom on Firhill Road just six weeks ago, with Partick Thistle having won just one of their previous 15 games in all competitions.

But against the odds, Gary Caldwell’s side have made a stunning revival. They’ve won their last five games in all competitions – including a pair of away wins in the Ladbrokes Championship.

So, what’s behind the sudden revival in Maryhill? We take a look…

Hazard’s a hit already

The Jags’ defensive record after 19 games of this league campaign wasn’t awful, but it was far from ideal. They’d shipped 32 goals in the process (or 1.69 per game).

But that’s all changed since the loan arrival of Conor Hazard last month.

The giant goalie has given up just four goals in his five league outings for the club, as well as a clean sheet at Bayview in the Scottish Cup.

The 20-year-old’s impact has been clear since his debut, in which he made several crucial stops in the 1-1 draw at high-flying Dundee United, with a Fraser Fyvie penalty the only thing to beat him.

He may not be football’s most famous Hazard just yet, but the commanding and agile Conor has added a new confidence to the Thistle backline.

Strong starters

Nothing calms the nerves like an early goal, and they’ve been a major part of the Jags’ recent revival.

While Caldwell has switched things around tactically from week to week of late, strong starts have been the one constant. Four of the last five games in all competitions have seen Thistle ahead at the 25-minute mark.

Among them was Joe Cardle’s opener in the 2-1 win over Queen of the South. The former Raith Rovers man’s scrappy strike was hardly the most glamorous of goals. But it more or less kick-started the current win of three straight league wins.

Saturday’s home game against league leaders Ross County looks a tough test, but another early strike at the Energy Check Stadium could prove vital. We go 4/1 for Thistle to lead at the 30-minute mark.

Meanwhile, a vital three points for the Jags can be backed at 23/10.

Click here for the latest Ladbrokes  Championship odds.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing

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Dave Burin

Dave graduated with an MA in English Literature at Durham University, and worked in marketing before joining the Ladbrokes News team. A Man United fan and avid groundhopper, he’s also an ardent follower of Rugby League. You can usually find him at a ground near you, clutching a big cup of tea.