Friday 15th July, 2016 at 9:00pm
Thistle returned to competitive action on Friday night with the opening fixture of the 2016/17 Betfair Cup. Alan Archibald’s side ran out 1-0 winners but it was a close competitive game with chances for both sides. The Thistle manager spoke to ptfc.co.uk on the way back from the Excelsior to give his thoughts on the contest and on the beginning of the season’s campaign.
First and foremost it is great to get the win and get three points on the board after the first round of fixtures. We want to qualify from this group as quickly as possible and give ourselves some extra preparation time for the start of the league campaign.
“We knew that Airdrie would be good opposition and they showed that tonight. They have just gone full time and looked fit and hungry. A good run about was exactly what we wanted to be fair and it was great to get minutes for a few of the lads who have missed some of pre-season.
“The other major positive to take was the clean sheet. That back four and goalie combination has never played together before so it will be a tremendous boost to them to have got the clean sheet under their belt.”
Airdrie created a number of chances of their own and Archie’s side certainly knew they were in a game.
“They really tested us at times and had a number of decent chances. I did think we maybe could have killed them off after half time as we had a couple of good chances but I’ll take the win and the clean sheet all day long.
“In the end it was Kris Doolan who scored the only goal of the game and that’s what’s great about Dools – he’s reliable. He only had a couple of chances today, one was ruled out for offside and the other was a goal so you can’t really ask for more than that. The link up between Lawless, Erskine and Doolan was great too and they really looked like they’ve never been apart.”
The Jags signed David Crawford as goalkeeping cover this week and the former Alloa man certainly earned his first wage packet with a couple of excellent saves, including one in the first half that arguably swung the balance of the game.
“David did well today as he did on Saturday against Morton. It’s been a difficult situation for us because we thought Ryan Scully would be fit by now. David has only trained a few days with us but he’s a personality and he talked all night tonight which is exactly what we needed.
Having David in as backup means we can be patient with Tomas and Ryan and we don’t need to rush either of them back which can only be a good thing long term.
Thistle resume their Betfred Cup campaign on July 23rd at home to Queen of the South, a game that season ticket holders get into for free. You can buy or renew your season ticket now at ptfctickets.