Friday 15th July, 2016 at 2:14pm
After a short pre-season campaign, the competitive football returns this evening with Thistle’s first Betfred Cup tie against Airdrieonians. Ptfc.co.uk caught up with manager Alan Archibald after training on Thursday to gather his thoughts on the start of a long season ahead.
“It’s been a really quick turn around with the introduction of the Betfred Cup group stages this summer. When we look at it in terms of where we were a year ago, then we’d be down at Bisham Abbey and have just played Eastleigh. That shows how quickly this summer has flown in for us.
“I was a fan of bringing in the group stages when they were announced. I thought they would be a good thing to change up the tournament, but since we’ve had trouble with injuries this pre-season I’m wishing that we had a couple of extra weeks to get everyone back fit.”
Thistle’s League cup record in recent years has been pretty poor and the gaffer is keen to have a cup run this time round.
“The great thing with the Betfred Cup this season is that by the end of November, the trophy will be decided. There is no long wait for the semi-finals or final to come round. Firstly, we want to progress from the group. We know it will be tough as only the top side will be guaranteed a place in the last 16, so we want to get off to a flying start by picking up all three points at Airdrie.”
With penalties potentially looming at the end of 90 minutes we asked Archie if he had been practising spot kicks.
“We’ve been practicing them in training for the whole week. We know you can’t simulate the pressure of a real scenario but we’re hoping it will help prepare the players in the event that they need to take part in a shoot-out.”
Finally we asked the gaffer to give us an update on his team news.
“Tomas Cerny and Ryan Scully are currently struggling with injury, which is why we have brought in David Crawford on a short term deal. No clubs can play trialists in this competition so we’ve had to sign him in order to have two fit goalkeepers in the squad for tonight.
“With regards to the rest of the squad, Liam Lindsay has been training for the full week. Ryan Edwards is also back into training with the squad but we’re waiting on the fitness of David Amoo after the injury he picked up last week. Ziggy Gordon is fit and will be available for selection this evening.”