Partick boss Gary Caldwell has revealed Craig Levein was one of the first people he turned to for advice after making his move back to Glasgow.
The former Celtic defender is set to come up against his old Scotland coach when the Jags hosts Levein’s Hearts side in Monday’s William Hill Scottish Cup quarter-final.
But it was not so long ago that Caldwell was picking the brains of the Jambos manager as he looked to turn around Thistle’s troubles at the foot of the Ladbrokes Championship.
He said: “Craig is a fantastic manager. He was very hard done by with Scotland at the time but he’s shown how good he is with every club he’s been at.
“You can see his passion and his hunger on the sidelines these days. I think he would have felt sitting behind a desk when he moved upstairs wasn’t for him.
“But when you see him prowling the dugout, you realise that’s where he should be and he’s got a lot of years left in him.
“You don’t have the career and the longevity he’s had if you’re not good.
“It will be good to come up against him on Monday as he’s someone I’ve got a huge amount of respect for.
“I actually spoke to him when I first moved back up to Thistle. I bumped into him at a reserve game. We had a coffee and a chat and as someone with lots of experience of working at different clubs as well as the national team, it was good to tap into that.
“He was very good and offered some advice. It was good to pick his brains on certain things and how he deals with them. It was invaluable.”
Thistle may have bigger concerns this season as they continue to prop up the second tier but Caldwell would love to see his team grasp their chance to run out at Hampden in the semi-finals.
“These opportunities don’t come around often in your careers and you have to grab them,” he said.
“We were never going to get an easy game at this stage and Hearts will be extremely difficult to get past.
“But we’re at home with our fans to get behind us and hopefully we can take them to Hampden.”
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