Kyle Turner revealed Kris Doolan targeted cinch Premiership football immediately upon becoming Partick Thistle boss as the Jags stand on the brink of a return to the top flight.
Doolan stepped up from his role as under-18 coach in February to take over, initially on a temporary basis, from Ian McCall and the turnaround in form since has taken the Maryhill side all the way to the play-off final.
The Jags are 2-0 up from Thursday’s first leg against Ross County – the victory extending their unbeaten run to 11 games – with the return game taking place in Dingwall on Sunday.
Thistle are the first team to finish fourth in the second tier to go all the way to the play-off final – during that run Doolan had to cope with the death of his father Lawrence – and they are looking to make more history by completing the job against the Staggies.
Malky Mackay’s side played most of the game in Glasgow with 10 men after 16-year-old defender Dylan Smith was sent off in the first half for denying Aidan Fitzpatrick an obvious goalscoring opportunity and midfielder Turner is hoping Doolan’s ambition is soon fulfilled.
The 25-year-old said: “The gaffer has been brilliant. He has had a hard time in the last few weeks and it has been tough for him.
“But when he came those were his first words, ‘let’s try to get to the Premiership’.
“He constantly goes on about it in the changing room, that we want to be looking up the way and how we want to get there.
“It is the top league in Scotland and he instilled a belief in us that we can do this and so far so good.
“Since the gaffer has come in we have a siege mentality and we keep going to see what happens.
“In five play-off games we have scored 18 goals and conceded three, so the gaffer has installed a belief in us. He wants us to be free and go and play our own game and it has worked so far.
“We were disappointed this season and we should have been challenging in the final games but we slipped up a few times and we weren’t happy with that.
“We finished fourth and we had to play six games in the play-offs. We felt the worst we should have finished was second.
“When we got past Queen’s Park, then the belief started to grow. We know Sunday will be tough and County will throw everything at us so we have to be ready.”
Turner believes the margin of victory over the Staggies, who finished 11th in the Premiership, could have been greater.
The former Stranraer and Dunfermline player said: “I thought we put on a good performance. We were actually disappointed we didn’t score more goals to be honest.
“We had a lot of chances in the second half but County defended well and they threw bodies in front of the ball to make it hard for us.
“If someone had said to us we would win 2-0 then we would have been happy.
“But the way the game went with them down to 10 men, with the chances we created, on another day we would have scored more. But overall though we are delighted with the win.”