Friday 13th October, 2017 at 1:38pm
As Thistle build up to one of the biggest games of the season so far with the visit of Kilmarnock on Saturday, Alan Archibald took some time away from his preparations to speak to ptfc.co.uk about the international break, the injury list and, of course, the game itself.
We started off by reflecting on the international break which, as far as Archie was concerned, could not have come at a worse time.
“It was a horrible break – no doubt about it. I don’t think anyone likes getting beat but the manner of the defeat at Fir Park made it particularly difficult to take and that made for a very long fortnight, I’m not going to lie.
“We got the defeat out of our system in the first part of the week, we went over the game and spoke about it and then put it to bed. We need to get a reaction and put it to bed in what will be a tough game against Kilmarnock this Saturday.
“Luckily, in the time I’ve been in charge we’ve only had four or five performances like that where there have been absolutely no positives to take from it. To be fair to the group we’ve always had a reaction when that has happened and we’ll be looking for the same this weekend because it’s a massive game. We’re at Firhill and we need to make the most of that. It’s a huge game for both clubs and I don’t think anyone here or at Rugby Park will be underestimating that fact.”
With Kilmarnock currently managerless many might see that as a positive for the home side but Archibald knows that uncertainty can be tricky for both teams.
“Obviously it affects it because we don’t know what they are going to do. It’s totally different people in charge and they will be looking for a reaction like we are. It makes it difficult in a sense because we don’t know what they might do tactically or in terms of their team selection but it just means we need to go and focus on ourselves and make sure we do everything in our power to get the three points.
“Of course we will look at what they did in the last game and what they have done so far this season but the main emphasis for us is how we are going to prepare and how we will go about winning the game.
“I do feel for Lee because he was putting in place big changes there and he was trying to do a lot in a short space of time. He tried to reduce the turnover of players every year and that’s not something that can be done overnight. I was very lucky because I had that stability and was given the time to make big changes. We were never in the position where the club was just looking at the next 10 games and we always had good backing.”
Thistle’s injury list has been well publicised and, unfortunately, it doesn’t look like there will be any miraculous recoveries in time for Saturday.
“There hasn’t really been any change to our injury situation – it’s still pretty bad. All our injuries are long term and three of them are full backs so unfortunately things haven’t really eased over the break. The three full backs are still all out long term – Callum Booth, Mustapha Dumbuya and Christie Elliott. In fact Christie had surgery following a scan that showed significant ligament damage so he’s going to be four to six months which is a real blow. Then obviously you have Abdul Osman who is still recovering from surgery on his shoulder.
“We know where we are with it though and we just need to get on with it – there’s nothing we can do about it. The one good bit of news is that Gary Fraser has now got two weeks of full training under his belt and will play in a Development League game next week so it looks like there might be some light at the end of that tunnel which is really positive.”
More exclusive preview interviews with Blair Spittal, Niall Keown and Jags gaffer, Alan Archibald are now available to Jagzone subscribers – log in now to see them. Jagzone members will also be able to watch highlights of the game from midnight.
Can’t make The Energy Check Stadium at Firhill? Jagzone World members (outside the UK and Ireland) can watch the game live – the stream is also available on a PPV basis. Jagzone members can listen to live audio commentary of the match.
For a full list of all the great content you can access from just £5.99 per month as a Jagzone member, click here.
Article Copyright © 2017. Permission to use quotations from this article online is only granted subject to appropriate source credit and hyperlink to ptfc.co.uk.