Saturday 13th July, 2013 at 1:54pm
Saturday’s pre-season friendly with Dumbarton, with no fewer than seven goals scored, was an entertaining fixture. [link:HOME] spoke with manager Alan Archibald after the game and we asked him what his verdict on the game was.
“A bit mixed. I thought that we knocked the ball about well and played some good stuff in the first half after starting slack in the first few minutes. I thought we played some good football and could have scored on a number of occasions when we broke forward on what was quite a sticky pitch. I was quite happy with the way we played when we had the ball and were going forward. The negatives, obviously, was losing three goals; that was disappointing.”
Alan continued on that subject;
“There was a bit of slackness at the start of the game and I said to the players at half-time that in pre-season games you get into the habit of playing tippy tappy football at times and into doing things that you wouldn’t do in a real game. Things like passing the ball in the wrong areas and generally making the wrong decisions and I think you could see that that was what caused a couple of the goals. I think we will put that down to it being pre-season. It’s something that we never did last season and we want to get back into the good habits of last year when we weren’t giving goals away.”
He continued on that theme;
“You tend to find in pre-season when you want a player to do something sharply they don’t and when you don’t they do. When a game has a competitive edge you need to make the right decisions at the right times and in pre-season games you tend to make the wrong decisions. That’s all it was today.”
There were, of course, plenty of positives to take from the game and there was praise from the manager for Steven Lawless;
“I thought Steven Lawless was unplayable at times to be honest and he was really good. Steven has missed out a bit pre-season after picking up a couple of knocks but you could see today the quality that he brings to the team.”
The game gave the manager the opportunity to cast his eyes over another trialist.
“We had another trialist at the back today; we’ve gone through a few pre-season. We know that we need cover having lost a couple of centre backs, myself and Andy Dowie, and we are on the look out all the time and it is just a case of going through them all to see what they have to offer. I thought the lad today did well. I thought he acquitted himself well. He hasn’t had any pre-season and he only arrived late on Thursday and he only had one training session with us.”
The manager was also able to give us an update on another couple of trialists that have been with us pre-season.
“We’re speaking to Bolton about bringing Gary Fraser in on loan and we are probably going to offer Mark Kerr a contract. He’s done really well and he is the right type to come in and enhance our midfield. We had a bit of an injury crisis in midfield towards the end of last season and that left us a bit short and it is an area that we need to be well covered in. So we will offer Mark something and we will see where things take us over the weekend with Gary Fraser.”
The search for players is on-going as the manager explains;
“I’ve got until the end of August to try and get things sorted but I really want to get things sorted as quickly as possible. As I said; we are always on the look out for players and it wouldn’t be a surprise if there were a couple of more trialists in Tuesday’s game with Livingston.”
Tuesday’s game will be another stern test as Thistle’s pre-season preparation steps up.
“There’s been a progression in the type of games that we have been playing and you will see that again on Tuesday. Livingston are full-time and they are a little more than just being a decent First Division team. We’re trying too to make sure players get 90 minutes of action. We did that today and we will do that on Tuesday as well. It does upset the rhythm a little when you make six changes during a game but that is something that we just need to do.”
Is there anything arranged yet for Saturday July 27th?
“We’ve something pencilled in for Firhill on that date and hopefully that will be confirmed shortly and perhaps something midweek as well.”