Tuesday 23rd February, 2016 at 2:00pm
Thistle look to return from three weeks off from league business with a game against St Johnstone tonight. Ptfc.co.uk caught up with Alan Archibald to get his thoughts.
“It’s very frustrating to have games continually called off, but there is nothing we can do about the weather. It’s been dry all of Monday, and the forecast is very good for Tuesday so we are confident that we will be able to get back on the pitch come Tuesday night.
“We’ve been slightly unfortunate with the postponements. When we were due to play Hearts away, our pitch was fine and if it had been a home game, it would have been on. It’s frustrating and we now have a fixture pile up which we’ll have to work through over the next month.”
The side have been training hard in preparation for tonight’s game and Archie admits the players are just desperate to get on the pitch.
“It’s hard for the players as we prepare a game plan for each opposition. They work hard on it all week and when the day of the game comes, it all goes out the window. Players just want to play games.
“We’ve still got a group of players who went through the backlog when we were going for promotion a few seasons ago and we as a staff know how to handle it. Everybody will be involved and there will be an element of rotation to keep players fresh and make sure we can field the strongest line up in every game.”
Thistle sit in 10th position and know that a draw will lift the side up to 8th, something that Alan is sure will incentivise the side for tonight’s match.
“The league is so tight that we know if we can string a few results together we’ll go flying up the table. A point tonight takes us to 8th, and we’d still have games in hand so the players need no better motivation to go out and perform.
“The games in hand mean nothing until we pick up points in them. We know where points can take us in this division but we still have to go out and accumulate them to get ourselves to where we want to be.”
Alan has almost a full squad to pick from once again ahead of this evening’s game.
“It’s been quite funny that earlier in the season we had to fill the bench with young players, but our recent postponements have been when our squad has been at our strongest. Players who have had knocks or niggles will have had the opportunity to shake them off and be fully fit.
“The only player who will definitely miss out is Mustapha Dumbuya. He’s been out for three weeks now and we’re not entirely sure how much longer he’ll miss out for, but tonight will be too soon for him. We’ve got good depth in Gary Miller and Christie Elliott who will be able to slot in for him.”