Saturday 23rd January, 2016 at 2:01pm
Alan Archibald spoke to ptfc.co.uk today ahead of the match against Inverness on Saturday. He started by addressing the poor performance that saw the Jags go down 4-2 at home to Dundee last week.
“We spent Monday morning watching the game back – particularly the first half. They’re an honest bunch of lads and they know that we never did the basics right last week. I take nothing away from Dundee as they were very good but it was very basic stuff that we weren’t doing and that is always going to cost you.
“Over the last 12 weeks or so we have shown what we can do but we were very poor last week and there is no getting away from that. We’ll look to get back to basics against Inverness and hopefully that will see us return to winning ways on Saturday.”
Liam Lindsay’s red card last week opens the door for Frederic Frans who has had to bide his time on the bench during Thistle’s magnificent run of form.
“Freddie has been a bit unlucky this season as he dropped out of the team due to injury and then we’ve been on this great run. He has always worked well with whichever centre back partner he has had, so we have every faith that he will come in and do the job for us against Inverness.
“The back four has been outstanding in recent weeks and that has meant Freddie has had to be patient but he always trains hard and he keeps himself on his toes and ready to go. You saw that when he had to come on last week.”
As January trundles on there is always the question of transfer news, especially in the build up to games. Archie gave us the low down.
“There’s nothing to report on the incoming side of things, although we are all delighted to tie down Tomas Cerny and Kris Doolan to long term contracts. We are really starting to build a solid spine of players for next season and that is always good to see.
“Ryan Stevenson is away as well. Ryan just wanted to play football and we couldn’t guarantee him first team games. He was a massive player for us last season and he certainly goes with our best wishes.”
There was much excitement around the announcement that Chris Erskine has signed a pre-contract agreement meaning he will return to Firhill for a third spell as a Thistle player. Although there was some suggestion that Chris may make the journey down the road before the end of January, Archibald was clear that that decision was out of his hands.
“That’s something that is totally down to Dundee United. He’s their player just now and we completely respect that. We’ll just need to wait and see what happens but obviously we would be open to getting him down here sooner rather than later. As I say though it is entirely up to them.”
Although the Tulloch Caledonian Stadium has been something of a happy hunting ground for Thistle, Archibald knows his team will be in for a very tough afternoon.
“Inverness are a good good side and we are very aware of that. They have a great deal of threat going forward and John has them playing some good football at times too. All our lads know what they need to do but the most important thing is that we get those basics right. You saw last week against Dundee what can happen when you don’t deal with those basics and we can’t let that happen again.
“We have the potential to move up a place on Saturday and start closing the gap between us and the top six. Make no mistake, that is where we want to be, but to get there we need to start another run of form like we have just had. If we can do that then we have every chance.”