PARTICK THISTLE manager Ian McCall has urged his players to 'block the outside noise' as the Jags look to build on Tuesday night's goalless stalemate with Queen of the South at Firhill.

Neither side covered themselves in glory in a fairly uninspiring first half in Maryhill but Thistle will be disappointed not to have picked up their first win of 2020 after spurning a flurry of opportunities in the second period.

The hosts should have had a penalty in the second half after Dario Zanatta was felled in the box and referee David Lowe pointed to the spot but after consulting with the linesman, the official changed his mind and instead awarded a free-kick to Queens. Zanatta was adjudged to be offside but replays of the incident have shown that the decision was incorrect.

McCall feels disappointed with the call but saw plenty of positives in the draw and has called on his players to focus on the task at hand: a daunting trip to Tannadice tomorrow to face Robbie Neilson's champions-in-waiting. And after a productive meeting with the players yesterday, the Thistle boss believes his players are in the right frame of mind ahead of a crucial month for the Firhill club.

The National:

"I had a meeting with the players today and we spoke about Tuesday," he said. In the first half both teams were average and there was a nervousness, but in the second half we did well. I have told the players they have to block the outside noise about how we played and look at the facts. We had eight opportunities to score a goal. We hit the woodwork three times and were deny a penalty which should have been given. We have to take the positives. It is all about points right now, nothing else.

"I doubt we will get that many chances at Tannadice, so we have to make sure we take them when they come along. Whether you play the teams like Alloa and Queen of the South, or Dundee United or Inverness there is no difference. You saw the other night four games finished 0-0. That shows how tight this league is. One win could kick us on. People talk about Dundee United not scoring but I don’t even look at that, I just worry about us. Hopefully we can get a bit of luck."

McCall added: "The meeting was to tell them to ignore the noise from outside. They have to keep themselves right over the next month and how they live their lives has to be spot on."

The National:

The Thistle manager made a few tweaks to his starting line-up for the midweek fixture against Queens, with Zak Rudden being handed his league debut up front and left-back James Penrice featuring in midfield. January signing Rudden has been out injured since January and McCall is wary of rushing him back to action, but revealed that Jags supporters should get used to seeing Penrice further up the park.

"Zak needs games," he said. "He got about 65 minutes on Tuesday and hopefully he can get something similar against Dundee United.

"It wasn’t when I wanted to [change Penrice's position] but I see James as a midfielder. It isn’t the ideal time to play him but needs must. [Left-back] Tommy Robson has been training brilliantly and he played well."