JAMIE SNEDDON is hoping to regain the form he was producing towards the end of last season as Partick Thistle embarked on a late rampage to seal the League One title – but the goalkeeper admits Harry Stone’s arrival on loan from Hearts means he has a fight for the gloves.
The 24-year-old was injured after the season opener last season and only played for Ian McCall’s side in the New Year, playing an important role as the Jags took off. magnitude at the right time in the title race.
Sneddon has found himself in and out of the starting XI this season – a howler at Gayfield was enough for McCall to give Stone a chance for a period – but after a string of games and a series of encouraging performances he appears to be first choice in purpose. Now that he’s earned the accolade, Sneddon is determined to keep it that way.
“The few months I was injured last season weren’t ideal, but I put that behind me and the end of last season was a dream,” Sneddon recalls. “I was looking to come this season and continue.
“It was a tough start and I was a bit in the squad at the start of the season, but recently I’m happy with my overall performance. It’s about having a little momentum under my belt. I hope I can help the team and be # 1 in the future.
Of his new contender for a starting place, he added: “Harry is a great young goalkeeper. You can see how well rated he is by Hearts and since he arrived he has been really good.
“It’s been great for both of us: training each other every day, each wanting to be better than the other. But at the same time, take advantage of this challenge and thrive on it. ”
Thistle’s good start to the season has faded in recent weeks. Three losses in their last three outings – to Inverness, Kilmarnock and Raith, all teams above them in the standings – took Thistle down early in the play-off race, but Sneddon is adamant about the fact that he and his team-mates are ready to make a difference, starting at home in Ayr tomorrow.
“We know losing these three games is not good enough for where we want to be,” he admitted. “It was three tough games so it’s a good indicator of where we need to improve.
“We’ve had a lot of good spells in those games as well, so we can trust that, but it’s about bouncing back now, getting it right on Saturday and starting another set.
“You always know you’re going to have a tough game when you play against Ayr United. They work hard, they’re physical and they’re good at what they do.
“Even in the first half [against Raith], I think we had some great times where we were probably the best team. We came out in the second half, we missed a few chances in the first 10 or 15 minutes, and then they got the penalty for their second goal.
“It was small margins in that game, I think – obviously we ended up 3-0 but it could have been different.
“We showed a lot of character to keep going and managed to score two goals towards the end. If we had played a few more minutes who knows what would have happened because we were really on top. We are definitely still confident in our abilities as a team.