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Last Updated: Tuesday, 23 December, 2003, 15:22 GMT
Britton and Whyte keep Jags role
Whyte and Britton took over at the end of November
Whyte and Britton took over at the end of November
Gerry Britton and Derek Whyte have been confirmed as joint player-managers of Partick Thistle.

The pair have been in the role on a caretaker basis since Gerry Collins was sacked at the end of November.

They were initially given until January to prove themselves, but have now been handed the job with no limit of time on their contracts.

"It's a great opportunity to be involved at this level. It's a natural progression for us," said Whyte.

The Jags are 10 points adrift at the bottom of the SPL, but recorded their first win under Britton and Whyte.

Whyte envisages no problems in working as part of a joint managerial team.

"We've known each other 20 years and we know each other inside out so that won't be a problem," he added.

"We've been involved in the game for some time and Gerry is an excellent coach and I have been captain. We feel we are well capable of doing it."

Thistle chairman Tom Hughes insisted that avoiding relegation was not among the criteria the pair had to meet to remain in the job beyond the end of the season.

He outlined why they had beaten 35 others to the post.

The appointments are part of a long-term strategy aimed at securing the future of Partick Thistle
Club statement
"Gerry and Derek are articulate and intelligent people who have vast experience at the top level in football," he said.

"Having considered the applications the board felt they were outstanding and ahead of the rest so that's why the selection was made.

"We think they have star qualities and Gerry Britton is already developing a serious reputation as a footballing coach and Derek Whyte is second to none at man management.

"The board were absolutely unanimous in the appointment. We are delighted to give Gerry and Derek the opportunity to take the first step on the ladder to what I'm sure will be a very successful career in football management."

A statement released earlier added: "In the brief period during which they have had temporary responsibility for team matters, the board has been impressed by their commitment and by the fresh ideas which they have brought to Firhill

"They have displayed outstanding qualities of leadership and maturity for ones so young.

"They quickly won the respect of the players both on and off the training ground. The appointments are seen as part of a long-term strategy aimed at securing the future of Partick Thistle FC."

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