Saturday 7th November, 2015 at 2:07pm
Ahead of Saturday’s match against Dundee, Alan Archibald spoke to ptfc.co.uk about how the squad is shaping up and also touched on how they are looking to improve on last week’s second half performance against Hearts.
“Last Saturday was very disappointing, especially in the second half. I said after the game that the lads downed tools after they scored their second and I wasn’t meaning to be overly critical but, especially when compared to the first half performance, the second 45 minutes was unacceptable.
“I think the lads knew what had gone wrong – they’re an honest enough bunch. To be fair they have been up for it in training this week and there won’t be anyone feeling sorry for themselves. There are potentially places up for grabs so I wouldn’t expect anything less than 100% from every one of them.”
The loss to Hearts was made to feel worse for Thistle fans as Dundee United picked up three points at home to Ross County.
“That certainly didn’t help, but we knew it was going to happen and we just need to concentrate on looking after ourselves at this stage. The gap has been cut now and we need to make sure it doesn’t get cut any further.
“This is an important stage of the season for us because everybody in the bottom half play each other, so points are inevitably going to be dropped. We just need to do everything we can to ensure that we aren’t the team dropping them.”
While Archie is clearly aware of the danger of dropping points he also knows how quickly teams can move up the table with a run of results.
“You only need a string of results and then the table looks much different. If we can put together two or three wins in this period of the season we can really start looking above rather than below.”
With Ryan Scully seeing red in the latter stages of last Saturday’s game, Archibald now turns to Paul Gallacher to strap the gloves back on up at Dens Park.
“Obviously with Tomas injured and Ryan out suspended we’ll be looking to Paul to step back into the fold. He’s a model professional and still keeps himself fit so I don’t have any worries about bringing him back in.
“We’re actually in a stronger position than most clubs when it comes to keepers. A lot of clubs will go with a number one and then a youngster as the backup but we have Tomas, Ryan and Paul which can prove invaluable in situations such as these.”
Other than the goalkeeping situation the manager has almost his full squad to choose from.
“Christie Elliott is still out although he has started running this week which is a big boost for us. Other than that it’s just Tomas Cerny out and Ryan Scully suspended.”