Wednesday 21st January, 2015 at 9:44am
As Thistle enter their final preparations for tonight’s game against Hamilton Accies, Alan Archibald has a slightly fuller squad to choose from.
“Bannigan is suspended but we should have a couple of bodies back. Sean Welsh is still struggling, Christie Elliott has a knock as does Stephen O’Donnell, but we’ll give them every chance. Obviously Jordan McMillan is still out too.”
Hopefully the fact that a few first team regulars are are now back available will mean Archie isn’t needing to call on the younger members of the squad, as has been the case in recent weeks.
“It was a big ask for them, they came in against Dundee United and did really well, acquitted themselves brilliantly. We’ve used the younger lads sparingly since the start of the season and sometimes you need to call on them in a bigger way than we might have liked but that’s football.
“They’ve been training with us all season and they deserve to be in and around the squad for the hard work they’ve put in already. They’re great kids and they certainly aren’t fazed by the experience, they showed that in the Dundee United game.
“You see it every day in training, when the likes of Ryan Stevenson and Kallum Higginbotham are giving these lads the ball you know then that they trust them and that they are good enough.”
There are plenty of similarities between the Jags boss and Hamilton’s interim manager.
“It’s a very similar situation. He’s obviously proved himself and if he does well I’m sure he’ll get a chance. When you take over a team that is doing well it’s mainly about continuity. As long as the players respect you then that’s half the battle. From there you just have to stick to your principles and beliefs, if you do that then you won’t go far wrong.”
Archibald is the first to admit that it is a massive few weeks for Thistle and that the team needs to start picking up wins again if they are to achieve the league position they are capable of.
“We’ve not been able to get on a run and the fact that we have had games called off in the interim hasn’t helped. We’ve been saying it all season but we need to go on a run and put together a couple of back to back wins. If we can do that the confidence within the team will build and I think we can kick on from there.”