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Partick Thistle FC
Match Reaction

Annan Athletic v Partick Thistle – 9th July 2013

Thistle manager Alan Archibald was an altogether much happier man after last night’s win over Annan Athletic than he had been after the weekend’s game with Gateshead.
[link:HOME] spoke with Alan after last night’s game and he began by expressing his pleasure at the way his side had performed.
“I was much happier with that; it was much better. I think from the word go we moved the ball about much better. We gave everyone a bit longer on the pitch and there was less chopping and changing tonight and we got more out of the game by doing that.”
Alan continued;
“I think the surface had a lot to do with that. I’m not one for making excuses but I think tonight we saw the difference between a bad astroturf pitch and a good one. The pitch on Saturday was horrendous but the surface tonight was very decent and I think you could see that in how we moved the ball about the pitch from the word go.”
He went on
“The passing and movement in all areas was good tonight. We got good movement in midfield and created little triangles which created space for the full backs. I thought too that Stevie Lawless and Christie Elliott got into good areas in that shape as well and that allowed us to get on the ball and dictate the play.”
“I think the performance tonight, albeit it was against Annan and no disrespect to them, was due to the hard work that we did down at Durham where we had some great surfaces to train on. We were able to take that hard work into the game tonight and I thought that showed up in the link up play.”
Both Sean Welsh and Steven Lawless returned to action last night after injury and the manager explained the thinking behind giving the two players a little extra game time in the second half.
“Sean Welsh went back to the specialist yesterday and the results from that showed just a little inflammation and we decided to push him on. He trained yesterday and he was brilliant so we decided to give him 45 minutes tonight. At half-time he had 15 minutes to settle down and Kenny Crichton thought that it would be a good idea to give him a little longer after he settled down to see if there was any reaction. It wasn’t a case of giving him a little extra game time; more to see if there was a reaction. He was absolutely fine. It was the same with Stevie Lawless. He was looking great in the first half and was looking really sharp so we decided to give him just a little bit extra as well.”
The manager was pleased too with the performances of some of the younger members of his squad commenting;
“The younger boys that played tonight the majority of them came down to Durham with us. They trained well when they were down with us and showed up well with the first team and they performed well tonight. We made a lot of changes during the second half but that didn’t seem to do us much harm and that showed the quality of the young lads and their desire to do well.”
After five trialists had played against Gateshead just two featured last night against Annan and the manager was able to give us an update on the state of play with the trialists.
“The trialist that scored twice was Gary Fraser. Gary is a very good player and we’ve had him with us since very early on in pre-season. He’s settled in well with us. In fact it looks as if he was with the team last year. The problem is that Gary has a couple of good options from elsewhere and I think we might struggle to hold on to him to be honest.”
The other trialist who played in the centre of defence last night is a player that the manager would like to have another look at.
Said Alan;
“We are going to try and have another look at him and I spoke to his agent but he is another player that has other options. Sometimes you need to move fast on these things but with finance tight you also need to make sure that they are the right player otherwise you can end up getting your fingers burnt.”
Although Mark Kerr didn’t play last night he remains part of things at Firhill as the manager explained;
“Mark Kerr has a wee niggle and we didn’t want to risk him on the astroturf but he should be involved at the weekend.”
The Spanish player who played in the second half against Gateshead also didn’t feature last night but he too is still very much in the manager’s thoughts.
“He’s gone back to Spain to try and sort a few things out” explained the manager before continuing,
“He’s a bit younger and there are issues surrounding compensation and things like that. We can’t do anything further until a few things have been clarified. The rules have changed and its’ not just his last club that would be due compensation but his club before then as well. So we will need to wait until that is all sorted out.”
The manager again stressed the importance that any players added to the squad need to be the right type of player.
“That’s the case with all trialists; they need to be able to fit in and I think at the weekend a couple of them didn’t. Coming back for pre-season that wee bit earlier has given us the opportunity to have a look at them and see who is out there.”

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