Watch out Irvine Meadow! Thistle assistant manager Martin Crawford believes Largs are going to be a handful for opposition in the PDM Buildbase West of Scotland Football League Premier Division this season.

Crawford believes the side has every reason to be confident going into this Saturday's big clash with Irvine Meadow, 2pm kick-off at Barrfields, and wants to see Largs capitalise with four of Thistle's five opening games being at home.

Largs have a good home record against Meadow during recent seasons, including 7-0 and 4-1 results on the last two occasions.

Both sides fought out a goal-less stalemate in a Friday night friendly last month at Inverclyde Sports Centre, but Crawford believes Largs are now in a good position to strike.

He said: "I couldn't see the mileage in not playing this season - we have the addition of new players to bolster our young and dynamic squad and that will help us knit together.

"Its perhaps an opportunity to get a foothold as we do seem to have a lot of home games coming up but that is only good if you pick up the points.

"We have good boys who are growing in experience and they know what is expected of them - we are well organised and up for Saturday's game.

"We won't be taking it lightly - it is going to be nip and tuck probably and there is more development to come in this squad of players but we are quietly confident going into the Meadow clash."

"It is difficult to say from one week to the next what the opposition is going to do so we need to concentrate on ourselves and our own abilities and let them worry about us."

Meadow recorded a 2-1 win over Rossvale on Saturday in their first league match of the season,

Crawford added a note of caution: "You can't take any team for granted in this league - it is very competitive - you just need to look at Kilwinning losing at home to Blantyre Vics last week - nobody expected that - so we have to be ready from the off."

Largs are champing at the bit for the game after last Saturday's contest versus Rutherglen Glencairn was called off due to high winds after the match had been switched to Barrfields. The match has been rescheduled for Wednesday December 9 under the lights in Glasgow.

Crawford had plenty of praise for ten men Largs who narrowly lost out to league leader Clydebank last week.

He said: "Given we were down to ten men for most of this match, I thought to a man they were fantastic.

"We didn't shrink from the challenge - we came out and played and we could have won the game.

"The Clydebank management were surprised and said 'Cor - what an effort' from down to ten men; we are proud of the boys and what they managed to produce and there is a lot more to come from this side, and the Bankies will not be looking forward to the reverse fixture later in the season, I can assure you of that."

"We had a new defensive partnership in Kyle Chyrstal and Corey Hughes - I am really pleased with them - both are strong, win headers and don't mind tackles. They have settled in well.

"Unfortunately Clydebank carved out a goal and we went to sleep a bit but other than that they didn't really threaten us in the second half.

"Jamie McGowan had made a great reaction save from the spot to deny Nicky Little - and he got down to it very well.

"Jack Haggerty is a livewire on the right wing and he is as fit as a butcher's dog and he cabe just keep running like Craig Forbes - they both have great engines on them. With Ben Black causing havoc on the left wing too, it is like double torment for the opposition with crosses raining in it at all angles. If Jack gets a defender isolated one on one he is a real handful.

"I think it is a stronger squad than last year in terms of age and experience; we had a lot of young boys in the squad last season and they kept their spot in the Premier League and all credit to them."

"Stuart Faulds is almost one of the old heads in the team and he has only just turned 21! He is a very careful and tidy player and mature ahead of his years and always looks to make a pass forward at the right time.

"Craig Forbes is like an exocet missile - you know he is going to lock on and won't stop until he gets his target.

"Having Keir Milliken is great as he brings a wealth of experience to the side and you could see his quality when he came on against Clydebank, and then we have our top scorer Scott Adam who does so much work off the ball that sometimes goes unnoticed but he is a real leader and the young boys look up to him. Scott fights for every ball and gets on the end of things - he is worth his weight in gold to us. Having Graham Muir back in the mix is good too and it is great that these players can impart their wisdom on the younger players."

Muir has a hamstring injury while sharp shooter Will Sewell has a knee ligament injury after an accidental collision in training.

Crawford said: "We train at high intensity the same way as we play on a Saturday so players are going to pick up knocks sometimes unfortunately.

There were a number of U20 players who feature in the squad including midfielder Jack Loudon, right back Sean McLeod and striker Andy Rutherford.

Crawford said: "It is important in teaching their craft that they see what the first team is all about and I asked them afterwards what they thought and they could see the difference in level in physicality and speed of the game and technical difference as well and it is a learning curve for these boys.

Adapting to the new normal is also one of the challenges facing football teams these days.

Crawford commented; "Half time talks outside is not ideal; obviously we can't use the changing rooms. It is just another obstacle for us to overcome but let's not bleat about it as it is the same for everyone."