Tuesday 17th July, 2018 at 9:40am
Tonight sees Thistle return to the Energy Check Stadium at Firhill for the first time this season with fellow Championship side, Greenock Morton, the opponents. With the Jags’ Betfred Cup campaign getting off to a winning start on Saturday at Ochilview Thistle gaffer, Alan Archibald, is anticipating a tougher test against the Ton. Archibald took time out of his day to take ptfc.co.uk though some key points ahead of the match.
“It’s certainly going to be an interesting game, especially with the matches coming as quickly as they do at this time of year. It will be a tougher test than Saturday I think as we come up against a full time team who are likely to be fitter and sharper. It’s a team similar to ourselves though in terms of they’ve been through a bit of a rebuild over the summer with a lot of players moving on, so it is all set up to be an intriguing contest.
“We’re all looking forward to being back at home and the pitch is looking superb so we know we’ll have a decent surface to play on. These groups are so tight and this is going to be a crucial clash but we are definitely looking forward to it.”
Thistle raced into a two goal lead after six minutes, Archibald’s side failed to capitalise on the early dominance, something the gaffer was keen to improve on.
“I think having had a look back over Saturday’s game it was much as we thought, a great start but then we probably took our foot off the gas a little bit. There were definitely things we could have done better but there’s a lot of new relationships in this side so it will take some time and work – that’s one of the big focuses for us to work on in the coming weeks and months.”
With midfielder, Shea Gordon, getting both goals against The Warriors, Archibald was encouraged to see goals coming from across the pitch and that is something he is keen to build on.
“We need to make the pitch as big as possible on Tuesday night and that comes from getting the support to our striker up the pitch. We saw that working to our advantage on Saturday and getting goals from all over the pitch is something we have struggled with in recent years. We can’t simply rely on Kris Doolan to score our goals every season – especially as he’s more or less the only striker in the building at the moment.
“We must get support to those forward players and get bodies in the box. Dools isn’t the kind of striker where we can just lump balls to him and we recognise that so the support really is crucial.”
Finally, Archibald took us through the latest all important squad news ahead of Morton’s visit.
“We came through Saturday more or less unscathed, apart from Aaron Lennox of course. He’s away for a scan but it looks like he might have taken a bad one to the knee so we continue with our bad luck in terms of goalkeepers in this competition. The good thing is Cammy Bell will come back into contention. That isn’t taking anything away from young Jamie Sneddon though who I thought was excellent on Saturday when he came on.
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