Kris Doolan described his Partick Thistle team’s 4-0 play-off win over Queen’s Park as a fitting tribute and the tonic he needed a day after losing his father the day before the game.
The Thistle manager was in the dugout at Ochilview as his side sealed an 8-3 aggregate victory in the cinch Premiership play-off quarter-finals the day after his father, Lawrence Doolan, died.
The 36-year-old said: “It’s probably just what I need personally because it’s been a time of turmoil for me.
“To see us score those goals was exactly the tonic I needed and to see the fans, the togetherness at the club, that’s what we’re trying to build.
“It was great to just stand and watch the way we play. The attitude of the players… I could see it in their eyes, they were giving everything.
“It’s a big thank-you from me because they went over and above and got what they deserved.”
The Thistle manager was on his way to training when he got the news on Thursday morning and missed the final day of the build-up to the second leg.
“There was never any doubt I would be in the dugout,” he said. “It’s what my dad would have wanted.
“He was a big Partick Thistle fan just like me. Nobody wants to see us do well more than me or him.
“He followed us everywhere when I played, he wanted me here tonight. He watched the game the other night and I was with him just after it.”
The Jags set up a semi-final with Ayr, who visit Firhill in the first leg next Friday, thanks to first-half goals from Brian Graham, Scott Tiffoney and Kevin Holt plus a late effort from Danny Mullen.
Doolan, who has only lost once in 15 games as a manager, said: “It was a fitting tribute. There’s no better tonic than watching us play like that.
“He would be proud of the players and the club because everyone has come together.
“We have been given such amazing support, my full family, and we can’t thank everyone enough because these times show in football, that’s when everyone gets together. Football is brilliant for that, it’s a brilliant industry when something like this happens.
“You see the fans at the end, and throughout the full game, the support that we have, and I thank them as well.
“Even my 11 years here as a player, they backed me every single day and they continue to back me as a manager. I am very grateful for that.”
Queen’s Park had the chance to win the Championship title last Friday after leading the table for much of 2023 but a 5-3 defeat by Dundee was followed by more defensive lapses.
Manager Owen Coyle said: “On the night we probably let ourselves down in terms of performance level, and over the last four or five weeks.
“Maybe we’ve squeezed every little bit out of that group we had. The bottom line is it’s not happened. Next year we will be back bigger and better.”