Kris Doolan vows Partick Thistle will attack Ross County in Dingwall

The Jags boss says his side won't sit back on their 2-0 lead.

Kris Doolan insists Partick Thistle will be on the front foot when they meet Ross County in the second leg of the play-off final, after taking a 2-0 lead from their clash at Firhill.

Aidan Fitzpatrick scored the opener for Thistle after just nine minutes with a sole effort, before teenage County defender Dylan Smith was shown a red card for denying the hosts a clear goalscoring opportunity.

In-form striker Brian Graham then netted a spectacular volley to continue Thistle’s fine play-off form, that had seen them 16 goals across their four previous play-off matches.

Doolan knows his side have a healthy lead to defend as they look to achieve their dream of promotion to the Premiership but insists that sitting back and hoping to keep County out is not right for his players.

“We only have one way of playing,” the Thistle manager said. “I said that before, we play in the same manner and we will do the same in Dingwall. We go out with the same mindset.

” So I’m delighted we’ve got the lead but it won’t change our approach to the next game. We will play to win that one as well.

“If you had offered us 2-0 before the game, we would have taken your hand off to have any kind of lead.”

Thistle created more opportunities against their ten-man opposition and the manager had some regret they couldn’t open up a bigger lead.

“It could have been more to me,” Doolan said. “It maybe should have been but part of that’s down to good defending from Ross County throwing their bodies in front of things and a good save at the end from the goalkeeper, he put it on to the bar.

“If the third one goes in, then it’s a different game. But I do think at 2-0 we looked like the team on that front foot and we’ll take all that confidence into Dingwall on Sunday now.”

County manager Malky Mackay felt the red card decision changed the game but was adamant that the tie is far from over with the return match on Sunday giving his team every chance of preserving their Premiership status.

“There’s 90 minutes to go,” Mackay said. “It’s 2-0.

“We were 2-0 down ten minutes into the second half last Wednesday night against St Johnstone and then we scored three.

“We scored three the week before at Tannadice. It just helps if you’ve got 11 men on the pitch.”

Mackay was grateful for the support of fans who made the long journey down to back his team and says the home crowd will be crucial on Sunday.

“It’s a long way up into the Highlands and it’s great that they came down, so many of them.

“I think there was a wee bit of misfortune as far as obviously the sending off, that changes the dynamics of the game.

“But I think they’ll see players trying for the jersey, see the blocks that were happening near the end and if nothing else they’re seeing boys that are trying hard, really trying hard to make sure that we actually pull this back.

“We’ll get back to Dingwall and on Sunday there’ll be a good crowd there, I imagine.

“I spoke to the players about ‘get your disappointment out the road just now’. By the time we get on that bus and go up the road focused on recovering tomorrow and nothing else but going out there with a positive mindset on Sunday.

“It’s halftime and it’s 2-0. We’re 2-0 down with 90 minutes to go.”

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