Saturday 19th July, 2014 at 9:39am
After the third week of full pre-season training, Thistle take on Dumbarton at the Bet Butler Stadium in their third pre-season friendly. Having already played FC Pinatar Arena and Brighton during a pre-season training camp in Spain, this game is the first to be played back in Scotland.
Although results have been mixed so far – a 3-1 win against FC Pinatar Arena and a 4-0 defeat to Brighton – Thistle boss Alan Archibald was quick to emphasise the focus remains on fitness and match sharpness rather than the result.
He said: “It was great to get off to a win after the first game but the score line really isn’t what I’m concerned with. Both Scott Paterson and I are really looking at how the boys react in game situations and how their fitness and sharpness are starting to come back to them.
“We’ve been training for three weeks now and in that time we’ve definitely seen the fitness side of things improve. Match sharpness will definitely come too, we’ve had the lads with balls at their feet from pretty much day one and we should be starting to see the benefits of that now.”
Thistle returned to training this week after a week training in the Spanish sun during a training camp based just outside Murcia. Alan definitely thinks the trip has helped the team on a number of levels.
“Getting away is great for the whole team. It gets us out of the usual routine and doing things a bit differently. Training in the heat was tough but I think we’ll see the benefits in terms of the lads’ fitness, particularly at the beginning of the season.
“The only real downside for me was that we came back with a couple of niggling injuries so there will be a couple of guys missing when it comes to the game tomorrow. It has left us a bit short but, at the same time, we do have a few trialists in so it will give them a real chance to impress. We’ve also got a few boys making the step up from the under 20s as well and they’ve got a real opportunity to show what they can do.”