Friday 5th October, 2018 at 2:44pm
It’s back to home action for Thistle this weekend and with nine points from nine at the Energy Check Stadium at Firhill this season the Jags side will be looking to keep that form going. Off the back of a disappointing night in Dunfermline last week the Thistle gaffer, Alan Archibald, spoke exclusively to ptfc.co.uk to explain his game plan for this weekend.
“The boys are good lads here and they want to get back, work hard and put things right. It made for a long weekend last week.
“County have got a good squad and excellent depth, probably the best I’ve seen in the league. They’re off the back of a good performance and will come in very confident mood. We know what to expect though and had plenty of experience against them last season. We just need to use that to our advantage on Saturday.
“They have a good mix of Premiership experience and new talent. They were able to hold on to a number of their good players and they are a very physical unit. They are mobile across the pitch and have good energy and legs through the front areas so they are undoubtedly a threat.”
The last time Thistle were in action in Maryhill it produced an open and exciting contest against Queen of the South. Some of the play the Jags put together that day was flowing football at its best and that is something the manager is keen to replicate.
“Last time out here we had a lot of really good play and scored some very good goals. We need to make sure we get back to that. We never played enough football on Friday and that was the most disappointing thing. We know we are capable of it but we need to be more consistent.
“On Friday night, apart from the goal and the 10 minute spell that followed, there was nothing in the game. In terms of the shape and organisation and the way we’re playing overall we are quite happy but we need to cut out the individual errors.”
The good news of the week was that Souleymane Coulibaly finally received clearance to play from FIFA and the Scottish FA.
“We’re delighted first and foremost for Souleymane because it is great news for him and he now has something to aim toward in terms of getting into our squad. It has been a frustrating time for him but he has stayed positive throughout and he is certainly an infectious personality.
“The focus now is getting him up to match fitness. When you look at the detail he wasn’t even allowed to play in a reserve game so he hasn’t actually played a match for quite some time now. We need to be careful with bringing him back and we don’t want to put too much pressure on him. As I say he’s not played for a long time now so we need to monitor him carefully to avoid injury as he builds up to his return. However, if we can get the performances out of him that he produced at Kilmarnock then he’ll be a great asset to the squad.”
Finally, the gaffer went through his team news and gave the low down on who would be available to play this weekend.
“Tam Scobbie has a slight knock and Chris Erskine comes more into the picture as well. He only trained once ahead of the game last week which is why he wasn’t involved as much as we might have liked against Dunfermline. Other than that we have a full squad to pick from. We have more or less everyone fit now and it is a major contrast to the start of the season when we only had three subs. We’ve had to leave players in the stands the last couple of weeks but that’s football and those players have to work hard to get back into the squad.”
More exclusive preview interviews with Blair Spittal, Kris Doolan and Jags gaffer, Alan Archibald, are available to Jagzone subscribers – log in now to see them.
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