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This Saturday’s Scottish Gas Scottish Cup tie at home to Livingston will represent Kris Doolan’s 50th game in charge of Partick Thistle as he marks one year in the Firhill hot seat. The Thistle legend has taken to management like a duck to water and he’ll be hoping to further his legacy at the club with continued success in the dugout.

Following successive home defeats to the division’s bottom two in Hamilton Academical and Cove Rangers coupled with a valiant cup exit at the hands of Michael Beale’s Rangers, the Maryhill outfit made the somewhat controversial decision to part company with manager Ian McCall. With the Jags faltering and finances running dry the club were left with no other option than to turn to managerial rookie Doolan - tasked with steering the side through a sticky patch - despite only having returned to the club as a youth coach the month prior.

Chucked in at the deep end with zero managerial experience, Doolan had no choice but to swim, his first game - a trip to former club Ayr United. The Jags would have to do it the hard way as top scorer Brian Graham served a suspension, and to make matters worse, his replacement Anton Dowds would go on to pull up with a hamstring injury inside the opening five minutes. Doolan would however go on to record his first win as Thistle boss with third-choice striker Danny Mullen finding the back of the net for the games only goal subsequently ending a run of seven away games without victory.

A goalless draw at Gayfield followed by a resounding win at Dens Park against title favourite’s Dundee was enough to see Doolan given the post on a permanent basis.

Thistle would go on to finish the league campaign with only one defeat in 13 under Doolan’s tutelage as the club secured their place in the Scottish Premiership play-offs. What came next not even the most optimistic Jags fans could have envisaged as Thistle went on to blitz their way through the promotion-chasing rivals. An 8-3 aggregate scoreline over high-flying Queen’s Park was followed by an 8-0 slaughtering of the Honest men in the semi-final that saw the Maryhill Magyars book their spot in the Premiership play-off final.

All that stood between Doolan’s Jags and a return to the top flight was a two-legged tie against struggling Ross County. Thistle showed no sign of fatigue as they raced into a two-goal lead at Firhill. With County reduced to 10 men, failure to pile further punishment on the highlanders was the only disappointment for the hosts.

The second leg would start in a similar fashion as the Jags continued their play-off tear with man of the moment Aidan Fitzpatrick sending Thistle to the brink of Premiership football with a 3-0 aggregate lead in Dingwall. With a seemingly unassailable lead, the 2,500-strong red and yellow army believed their side had one foot in the top flight, that was until a catastrophic 20-minute collapse from Thistle allowed Malky Mackay’s men to rise from the dead, bagging three goals including an injury time equaliser to force extra time and the subsequently heartbreaking penalty shootout. A trailblazing start to life in the dugout for Doolan, only to see that first promotion snatched away from him at the final hurdle.

A mere 41 days later the Jags were back in competitive action with next to no time to lick their wounds. With 11 players leaving the club in the summer, gaffer Doolan would turn to the youth academy for ample replacements with Ben Stanway, Zander Mackenzie, James Lyon and Ricco Diack all proving the old adage that if you’re good enough, you’re old enough as the youthful Jags side went on to top their League Cup group.

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As Thistle continues to improve from week to week, the tactical nous of Doolan is there for all to see. Since Doolan's appointment, the Jags have gone from a group of individuals flung on the park hoping for moments of individual brilliance to a cohesive, free-flowing, attractive side that put in the hard yards for one another. Having passed the halfway point of the league season the Jags find themselves comfortably wedged within the Premiership play-off places once more and the gaffer will be hoping to learn from past mistakes to ensure the club goes one better this campaign and achieve the ultimate goal of promotion.

With this weekend’s fixture toting up a half-century of games in charge of the Firhill side for Doolan, the former striker boasts a win percentage of 51.02 at present with the Jags only tasting defeat on nine occasions since McCall's departure. An excellent first year in the hot seat for Doolan and with interest from higher up the food chain almost inevitable, every Thistle fan will be hoping he continues to fly under the radar for quite some time yet.