Ian McCall challenges Partick Thistle players to maintain intensity levels for 90 minutes against Raith Rovers

The Jags head to Kirkcaldy on Sunday after suffering back-to-back defeats in the Scottish Championship

Partick Thistle manager Ian McCall admits he is a big admirer of the style of football Raith Rovers have adopted under John McGlynn.

The Jags travel to Stark’s Park on Sunday looking to end a run of back-to-back defeats against fellow Scottish Championship promotion hopefuls Inverness and Kilmarnock.

However, the Fifers, who were knocked out of the Premier Sports Cup against Celtic on Thursday night, will prove a formidable opponent.

Raith enjoyed an excellent 2020/21 campaign which saw them finish in third spot and narrowly miss out on a place in the Premiership play-off final after losing to Dundee over two legs.

Thistle boss McCall, who will be without Rangers loanee Jake Hastie for the trip to Kirkcaldy, likes the way Raith try to play out from the back and claims he doesn’t envisage them suffering any cup exit hangover tomorrow.

He said: “We had Raith watched a few weeks ago. They’re on a decent run at the moment and they have got a really terrific manager, someone I’ve got a lot of time for.

“It’s never an easy game going to Kirkcaldy, I’ve been there many times before.

“They always try and play football the right way and they’ve got a number of really good players in the central area.

“The young lad (Dylan Tait) that signed for Hibs has stepped up to replace Regan Hendry, who was excellent every time I saw him before he moved down south.

“You just have to look at what they achieved last season and it shows what is possible.

“There was a sense of injustice for us that we went down to League One and it put us under a lot of pressure to get back up at the first attempt, which we thankfully managed to do.

“It’s not a brass statement to try and finish in the top four. It’s an achievable target for most clubs, if not all of them in this division. If you ask any manager, they’ll all say the same thing.

“I don’t think the fact Raith played in midweek will have any impact. John took a number of key players off reasonably early.

“I’ve never wanted to watch a team who were playing Rangers or Celtic two or three days before they play my team because other sides set up differently to way both Old Firm clubs do.”

McCall has been pleased with the intensity his side have started their previous two games at but has challenged his players to maintain that level for a full 90 minutes.

Stressing the importance of limiting their number of defensive mistakes, McCall admitted: “I thought for the first 30 minutes against Kilmarnock we were the better team.

“We just need to cut out the defensive mistakes. There first goal was a total freak, I only watched it back once during the week, but the second one was poor defensively from our point of view.

“We lost two poor goals against Inverness the week before and passed up a great chance. The only difference against Kilmarnock was that we never cut them open as well, we only created one or two clear-cut chances.

“I’ve got a target for each quarter and we’re still on course for that, but we need to win a game or two over the next few weeks.”