'The groundwork has been laid to challenge for promotion' - Gary Caldwell releases statement after Partick Thistle exit
Caldwell was sacked by the Firhill club on Wednesday following a disappointing start to the season which has left the club second bottom of the Championship and without a league win.
Caldwell, who was appointed in October 2018, released a statement on Saturday expressing his disappointment at his departure and acknowledging the potential within the squad.
He said through the League Managers Association: "While hugely disappointed by the decision to terminate my contract with Partick Thistle FC, I want to thank everyone who supported me during my time as manager.
""I want to thank all the players for their efforts. I know I expect high standards, and I hope they felt that I was only trying to make them better as players and people.
"The squad that has been assembled is, in my opinion, one of the best in the league but integrating so many new players takes time. I strongly believe the next manager has a great team to work with.
"Our overall record in competitive games this season is Played 11, Won 5, Drawn, 3 and Lost 3. Also, the team has a win ratio of 46.8% since January. Therefore, the groundwork has been laid to challenge for promotion this season."
Caldwell's wins this season had all come in the League Cup and Tunnocks Caramel Wafer Cup. Thistle had managed only two draws in the league prior to his exit.
The former Scotland international also praised the fans, despite many voicing their opposition to his tenure: ""I’d also like to thank the supporters, I understand their frustration at times and that some will be happy at the club’s decision to let me go.
"Every supporter I met face to face in my time at the club was passionate and gave me great support. I’m sorry that I was not able to give them what they wanted, in the time that I had."
Veteran forward Kenny Miller, chief executive Gerry Britton and academy director Scott Allison will take charge of this afternoon's game against Dunfermline Athletic.