Football

Gary Caldwell Says He’s Better Suited to Managing Scotland than Partick Thistle

Gary Caldwell Says He’s Better Suited to Managing Scotland than Partick Thistle

Ex-Partick Thistle manager Gary Caldwell has claimed he’s better suited to managing Scotland than the Championship side.

Caldwell was sacked by the Thistle hierarchy back in September after an underwhelming start to the season, but the former Celtic and Wigan centre-half reckons he could still do a job in international football.

Following Scotland’s 4-0 defeat to Russia and 6-0 victory over San Marino over the last week or so, Caldwell was a guest on tonight’s episode of the BBC Radio Scotland’s Sportsound podcast, alongside Kilmarnock and current Scotland right-back Stephen O’Donnell.

Speaking in a pretty candid discussion, Caldwell said: “I don’t think I was ever going to get it [the Scotland job when Alex McLeish was sacked], but I feel like I could do it.

“I feel like I’m more qualified to do that than I am to manage Partick Thistle.

“I’ve never played a game in my life in The Championship, yet I’ve played 55 games for Scotland. I know how international players think. I don’t know how Championship players think – well, I do now, but I didn’t when I first went in.”

And on his Firhill exit, he added: “There are a lot of stories coming out of Partick Thistle but until those players are named, they are not real in my opinion. 

“Of 24 players there were only three that didn’t call or text to thank me, to say they had improved and wish me all the best. And for a manager that can only pick 11 of the 24, that’s not a bad return. A lot of these stories are made up if I’m being honest.”

“I worked extremely hard to change the culture and fortunes of the football club and ultimately didn’t get the time I needed to try and do that.

“We gave it everything but it was disappointing I didn’t get to see it through.

“(It was)a team that wasn’t winning for a long time, obviously in the Premiership before I arrived and then they didn’t start the Championship season great.

“I was actually thinking about this the other day and after my first game, which we lost, on the Monday six of the players that started the game were injured. And I like to go out onto the grass for a warm down to pass the ball or something very light for the boys that played and do extra for the boys that didn’t.

“Straight away I though, ‘This isn’t great.’

“Six players were having an easy day in the physio room and by the Thursday three were still injured and by the Saturday two weren’t in the team.

“So I had to change that mentality, that during the week we are preparing to win a game of football. It’s not play a game of football then throughout the week you can do what you like. We were preparing to win and get the mindset that everything we did was preparing for the game on Saturday.

“We tried to change the mentality of the group in terms of character and resilience. We didn’t manage to do that before January and ultimately had to change personnel to make that happen.”

What do you think of Caldwell’s comments?

Does he have a fair enough point to suggest he’d be better suited to coaching and working with players of a higher calibre, or is he being a touch fanciful given his win percentage at Thistle and as Wigan boss?

Let us know in the comments section below…

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