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Match Reaction

Celtic v Partick Thistle – 20th December 2016

With the hectic Christmas schedule giving Alan Archibald plenty of opportunities to speak to it was his assistant, Scott Paterson, who took up the post-match media duties at Celtic Park. Although it was undoubtedly a disappointing night, there were certainly positives to take from a solid performance against the reigning Ladbrokes Premiership champions.

Scott said: “First and foremost I thought the boys were very good and did very well. We kept our shape and stuck to our game plan against a very, very strong Celtic team. We created a number of excellent chances tonight and the biggest frustration was that we couldn’t take any of them.

“Not many teams come here and make the kind of chances we did tonight so it is disappointing that we didn’t take at least one of them. Those missed chances have proved very costly tonight because we could have been walking away with a point instead of nothing.”

The only goal of the game came from a clever Celtic set piece but Scott knows his side should have done better with it, especially having conceded from a not dissimilar situation at Firhill 10 days ago.

“It is very disappointing to concede from that set piece and in that way. It was only a momentary switch off but that’s all it takes against teams like Celtic. We kept them quiet early on and did well to frustrate them. We had worked really hard up until that point so it was really frustrating to lose a goal in the manner that we did.”

The best chance of the night probably fell to an unlikely source as Ziggy Gordon found himself with space in the Celtic box but couldn’t place his shot past Craig Gordon, instead skewing it wide of the Celtic post.

“I think Ziggy will be disappointed to be honest. It’s almost as if he had too much time and the box really opened up for him. I think we were expecting the ball to hit the back of the net at that point and when it didn’t you really start to wonder if it is going to be your night.

“The good side of things is that we are still creating these chances but we have to start taking them because it is costing us and has done so on a number of occasions this season.

“We had a game plan coming into the game and the boys executed it very well. We wanted to keep the game narrow and try to force the ball wide. We created some good opportunities but, as I say, the final ball really let us down tonight.”

Despite remaining bottom of the table, Scott is adamant that the squad still has plenty of belief going into a vital run of games.

“I do think there is plenty of belief in the squad despite our league position. A couple of wins and our position will change dramatically. We now have a run of games that could allow us to do that and, if we can win against those teams that currently sit close to us in the table, things could look very different going into the New Year.”

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