Saturday 13th September, 2014 at 6:50pm
Having had two weeks to dwell on the team’s defeat away to Aberdeen, Thistle manager, Alan Archibald, spoke to ptfc.co.uk about how the team has spent the international break as well as the challenge and threat posed by this week’s visitors, Inverness.
Alan said: “With a few new bodies in, probably the best thing about the break for us was getting a few of the new lads bedded in. We brought in Jake just before the Aberdeen game and Jake obviously just after so it gave them the time to settle in but it is a long two weeks when you’ve lost your last result.”
The big news around Firhill this week is the loss of Gary Fraser who is out for between six and 12 weeks with a hairline fracture in his knee, Archie was understandably disappointed.
“Gary is going to be out for between six and12 weeks which is a real blow. He had a wee problem with it so we got him in to see a specialist during the international break there and it turns out he has a small fracture in it.
“He has started really well and has been one of our best players so it is disappointing. Typically we only found out the day after the window closed which didn’t help but it would have been a blow to lose him regardless.
“With Sean Welsh still out it leaves us a wee bit light in there if anything does happen so we are exploring the possibility of bringing someone else, a free agent, in but it’s not something we’re close to”
On the opposition, who have been flying at the start of the season, Alan is keen that his team are aware of exactly the threat that they can pose.
“I watched Inverness recently and you can definitely see they’ve turned round the way they play – it’s definitely a John Hughes team now. They are playing good football and they are top of the league at the moment on their own merit.
“I think you could see signs last year that they were changing the way they played and I think you can see a total difference now. The credit has to go to the manager on that front as it’s pretty much the same players. Both teams like to get it down and play so hopefully it should make for a really good game come Saturday.”
Although on excellent form Archibald knows they remain a team that Thistle can hurt if they play to their ability.
“They’re a team we played well against last season and we go into it with real confidence. It has the potential to act as a real springboard for us to get us back on track. A result on Saturday would definitely give us a real boost going into the back to back games against St Mirren next week.”
So, other than Gary Fraser, what other team news does Archie have?
“Other than Gary of course we still have Sean Welsh out, although he is making real progress, and Nathan Eccleston has picked up a knock in the week as well.”