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Last Updated: Sunday, 30 November, 2003, 13:23 GMT
Thistle sack boss Collins
Gerry Collins
Gerry Collins was told to pack his bags on Sunday
Partick Thistle have sacked manager Gerry Collins following a 40-minute board meeting at Firhill.

And it is believed that Dundee's Jim Duffy, a former Thistle player, is top of the club's wanted list, although player-coach Gerry Britton will take charge for Thursday's CIS Cup tie against Celtic.

Collins, who stepped up from assistant to take over from John Lambie at the tail-end of last season, was in charge for just 16 games.

But Thistle have not won in the Scottish Premier League since his first match in charge, a 3-2 victory away to Hibernian on 24 May, and lie at the bottom, six points adrift of Aberdeen.

The Glasgow outfit remain the only team in British senior football without a league win this season.

Thistle, in an official statement, said: "The board of Partick Thistle FC, having given extended consideration to the club's current league position and related matters, has decided to terminate the appointment of team manager Gerry Collins with immediate effect.

"Gerry was an integral part of the management team which brought back-to-back championships to Firhill and oversaw Partick Thistle's return to the top level of Scottish football.

we thought he would be given a bit more time
Thistle captain Derek Whyte
"Regrettably, however, the current position could not be sustained and, consequently, Gerry and assistant manager Bobby McCulley will now leave the club.

"The post of manager will be advertised in the course of the coming week."

Player-coach Chic Charnley leaves along with Collins and McCulley.

Saturday's 3-1 defeat at Celtic Park was Thistle's tenth consecutive reverse, their only victory this season being away to Third Division Peterhead on penalties following a 2-2 draw in the CIS Cup.

Chairman Tom Hughes had days earlier insisted that, although the board were looking at ways of improving the league position, Collins' position was not in danger.

Thistle put in a spirited display against the SPL leaders in the Glasgow derby and even took an early lead.

However, it appears that a significant majority of the Thistle board had already decided that a change was required.

Partick captain Derek Whyte told BBC Sport that the news was greeted with "absolute shock" by the players, who had been taken for training by Collins on Sunday morning a couple of hours before the decision was made.

"It is a sad day, a man has lost his job, and I feel for him," said Whyte.

"Although we had lost some experienced players at the end of the season, we thought we had got the right guys in, but results don't lie.

"But, in a way, after we did so well at Celtic Park, we thought he would be given a bit more time."

Thistle chairman Tom Hughes announces Collins' departure
Tom Hughes had previously promised Collins his support
Thistle have in recent years taken a pragmatic view and last season survived their first season back in the SPL without offering the kind of large wages that have put other clubs heavily in debt.

However, the possible availability of Duffy could have prompted Thistle to act now.

Duffy is viewed as one of the best young managers in Scotland but last week saw his playing staff slashed as Dundee plunged into administration.

Lambie is still involved at Firhill. But, due to health concerns at least, is unlikely to take the manager's reigns for a third spell.

Morton's John McCormack, John Connolly of Queen of the South, former Barnsley assistant Ronnie Glavin and present player-coaches Britton and Whyte have been all also been touted as possible successors.






SEE ALSO
Collins on hiding to nothing
30 Nov 03  |  Partick Thistle



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