Tuesday 10th May, 2016 at 1:33pm
Thistle secured their Premiership safety with Saturday’s victory over Kilmarnock and Alan Archibald has wasted no time in securing another of his out-of-contract stars on a longer term deal, with Abdul Osman committing until 2018. It seemed the perfect place to start when ptfc.co.uk caught up with Alan after training on Monday.
“I’m delighted that Abdul has decided to stay at Firhill for another two seasons. He’s been excellent for me since we brought him in at the start of last season and we’re glad he’s decided to stay. This season’s he been captain, he’s been my leader on the pitch and I think you can see how badly we miss him when he isn’t on the pitch.
“Hopefully Abdul is the first of a few to sign. When you have the possibility of being in the playoff it delays our plans a little bit, now we’ve got that sorted we can talk to players and get their thoughts on next season. We’ve got a good nucleus of players already signed up for next year and I think we’re in a better position than we were last year.”
A gruelling schedule over the last couple of months has seen a number of players play through the pain barrier and Alan admits some of the players will begin medical treatment in a bid to start next season as fresh as they can.
“The fixtures we’ve had over the last few months have taken their toll and now that we’re safe we can send players away to get the surgery that they need. We’ve been missing Tomas Cerny, Gary Fraser and Stuart Bannigan for a while and they won’t make it back for Saturday so their seasons are over. Abdul Osman and Callum Booth are another couple who won’t feature again this season.
“The fact we are missing so many regular first team bodies does open up the opportunity for a couple of players from the development squad to show us what they can do. We brought on Kevin Nisbet at the weekend and he looked lively in the time he was on the park. We started the season with Liam Lindsay and Jack Hendry starting in defence, which is great for the club. It shows the players coming through the academy that there is the opportunity to get into the first team.”
Thistle travel to Tannadice with both clubs having their fates decided for next season, but Archie is looking for the win as he eyes the sides sitting above Thistle in the league.
“We’ve achieved our first target of making sure we are safe in the league. We want to use the last two games of the season to finish as high as we can in the table. We want to beat last year’s points total and, if possible, finish higher than 8th in the table. We’ve got a great chance to put pressure on Dundee and Inverness if we can get the three points on Tuesday night so we’ll be making sure that whatever side takes to the field is ready to try and get the three points.”
Thistle’s support will head to Tayside in joyous mood knowing that the side is safe and the gaffer knows his side can be assured of a loud backing.
“The fans were great on Saturday at Kilmarnock. You wouldn’t have known we got beat 4-1 the weekend before by the way they backed the team. With it being a midweek game, it might not be the biggest Thistle support to make the trip to Dundee, but we know they’ll get right behind the side and enjoy themselves in the process. We’ll be aiming to get a win to send them all home happy.”