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Match Preview

Partick Thistle v St Johnstone – 28th October 2017

With four points from a possible six it’s fair to say things are looking significantly rosier in the Thistle camp than they were seven days ago. Having said that when he spoke to, Alan Archibald was quick to emphasise that there is a lot of work left to do to get the season back on track.

He said: “I think we’re all in a better place because of the win but also because of a much better performance on Tuesday night against Hamilton as well. I know from a football point of view the game at the SuperSeal wasn’t a classic but from a manager’s point of view it was much better in terms of us being better organised and harder to beat. It was night and day when compared to the performance against Dundee where, yes we might have won, but we were terrible at times.

“The lads looked more confident on Tuesday night, more like their old selves, and hopefully we can take a bit of that into the game on Saturday. We started the game really well and that just helped grow the confidence again. Hopefully we can use that and go to kick on again to build on it further when it comes to Saturday.”

Many column inches have already been dedicated to the Jags’ poor start but with the team still in touching distance of the pack Archie knows his team have a great chance to get right back in about it with a result on Saturday.

“Considering we had such a bad start we are still there or there abouts in terms of our position in the table – we haven’t been cut off yet which is pleasing. We’re still in about the group and everyone else plays everyone during this period so we just need to focus on our own game and make sure we pick up as many points as we can.

“We’re at home on Saturday and we’ll be aiming to build on the feel good factor that was left over after last week. The decision making was much better on Tuesday and I think a bit of the desperation has gone. That can become a problem i you’re on a bad run as you sometimes become too desperate to win and the decision making can go out of the window, especially in the later stages of the game. We were better organised on Tuesday and that was the major positive for me.”

Despite a run of disappointing results there has never been any question of disharmony in the Jags dressing room, a factor that is not underestimated by Archibald.

“The good thing going through these runs is that we have a strong and close knit dressing room. We have strong characters and that always helps when you aren’t winning games. As I say, hopefully that’s us turned a corner now and we can look to kick on from here.”

It may yet prove to be the case that Thistle have already had their “sliding doors” moment and Archibald is only too aware of how massive seemingly small incidents can ultimately prove.

“Seasons can turn on one incident in a game. I think you saw that with Tomáš Černý’s penalty save last week. That keeps us in the game and without it we almost certainly would have lost that game. It really is tiny margins but you see it every season – especially in this league.

“We’re not out of the woods yet but ultimately it comes down to keeping the core group pulling in the right direction. We got a clean sheet on Tuesday and I was really pleased with that, now we need to turn that point into a really good point by getting a result against St Johnstone who are always hard to beat.”

More exclusive preview interviews with new signing Martin Woods, Paul McGinn and Jags gaffer, Alan Archibald are now available to Jagzone subscribers – log in to see them. Jagzone members will also be able to watch highlights of the game from midnight.

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