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Match Reaction

Celtic V Partick Thistle – 5th March 2017

After a confidence boosting victory over Ross County on Saturday, Alan Archibald took his Thistle side to Parkhead looking to continue their good form and, against the odds, they would do just that. They managed to secure a 1-1 draw at Celtic Park, becoming just the third team to take points from the reigning champions of Scotland this season. The draw represented the first time the Jags were able to avoid defeat against the Hoops since May 1995. Alan Archibald spoke with after the match to give his thoughts on the evening’s proceedings.

The manager was pleased with the way his side improved on a solid first half performance in the second period.

“A point felt a long way away in the first half, it was probably our worst 45 minutes here, in terms of ball retention. It was much better in the second half, I was pleased that we kept the ball more effectively and we were able to give the midfield and backline a bit of respite because we couldn’t afford to continue in the way we played during that first half.”

As his side edge ever closer to confirming their top six status, the gaffer realises that tonight’s point could be important, however, there is still work to be done.

“We’re not there yet but it’s in our own hands. We’ve got a tough game at home against Motherwell but things are going well, everyone has come through the game fit and healthy so we’ll have a good squad to pick from come Saturday.”

Archie wanted to praise Ade Azeez who scored Thistle’s all-important equaliser. The striker is a very hard worker in training and hasn’t been getting the goals to show for it recently but grabbed the equaliser to ensure Thistle left the East End with a point.

“He works ever so hard and I’m glad he’s gotten his reward on such a big stage tonight because he’s been outstanding in terms of the way he has played and got us up the pitch in recent weeks. He’s had a number of great opportunities but he’s not quite found that finishing touch. Thankfully, he got one tonight and he could have had two if truth be told. It was a good block by the defender to deny him a second. He was called into action tonight because Kris Doolan had a bit of a thigh strain and I thought he more than played his part.”

Alan Archibald did admit that he was feeling disappointed and was fearing the worst when his side gave away a penalty two minutes after equalising.

“I was feeling awful. It was only about one and a half or two minutes after Ade’s goal but I’m delighted for Tomas Cerny who made a great save from the penalty. A couple of weeks back he made a big mistake that cost us two points but Tomas has saved us points on several occasions and I’m glad he could put that to bed tonight as it’s probably been playing on his mind a little bit.”

Thistle return to action this Saturday when they face Motherwell in the Ladbrokes Premiership on a day when the Jags’ top half finish could be secured. Kick-off is 15:00 at Firhill.

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