Saturday 20th April, 2013 at 9:46pm
It, understandably, took the players and management a little longer than normal to emerge from the dressing room at the end of yesterday’s game. When [link:HOME] did get the chance to speak to Alan Archibald the obvious question to ask was how he was feeling?
“I’m very proud. It’s been a long struggle the last few months but it was all worthwhile today. I’m absolutely delighted for everyone to do with the Club; the fans, the players, the medical staff, Michelle the press officer, everybody. It has been a real team effort from everyone.”
When did he start to relax and think that the job was done?
“I started to relax after the first goal. To be fair I was a wee bit more relaxed today because I felt that it was a good display. I thought that we went about our business well and I thought it was only the pitch, and the post, that stopped us from taking the lead. I thought that we took control of the game and that we deserved the win. I felt that it was only a matter of time before we scored.”
The scorer of the important first goal was Andy Dowie, a recent addition to the squad, and the manager couldn’t praise Andy highly enough.
“Andy has been outstanding since he came in. He didn’t even want to go out and celebrate and that tells you a lot about the lad. He had to come into a team that were unbeaten and had a great defensive record and he probably had a wee bit of bad history when he came back to Partick Thistle after his first time at the Club. So he had a lot of that kind of pressure to deal with and then to go out against Morton and produce the performance he did was fantastic and since then he’s been brilliant. Today I thought that he really deserved his goal.”
“I think Andy and Conrad handled the lad Taylor very well. He’s scored in most of the games that he’s played in this season and they dealt with him very well.”
So how does winning the title as a manager compare to winning the title as a player?
“It’s different and something that I perhaps took for granted earlier in my career. That’s something that I stressed to the lads. I was part of two promotions and I was saying to my wife last night that all I’ve got is one picture with a trophy. So I said to the lads to make sure that they enjoy the moment because it doesn’t happen very often. I think you do take it for granted when you are younger so I said to them to make sure you get your pictures with the trophy when you get it and enjoy the day, enjoy the fans because these are the good times.”
Alan also commented on the slogan displayed across the players t-shirts after the game.
“I’m not a big fan of these things and I had to give it the okay. I don’t like all that but I understand why they wanted to do it. I think a lot of other managers and people in the press wrote them off. We went into the Morton game at Cappielow eight points behind and it could have gone to eleven that day and I thought they showed great character that day. Everyone also said that they wouldn’t go away from home and win and they wouldn’t do this and they wouldn’t do that. I think this is a wee bit back at that. It’s not aimed at any one club, it’s just aimed at everyone who wrote them off.”
Alan went on;
“They did their talking out on the pitch. They never said anything and I said that we would keep our own counsel. A lot of them were disgruntled when Jackie left and people said that it was Morton’s trophy, there you go; game over. That continued for a few weeks afterwards and we used it as a tool and it motivated us to go on and get the trophy.”
So will we see Alan out on the pitch before the season’s end?
“Only if need be. I’ve got a job to do in the dugout at the moment and I’d rather somebody else got the chance to enjoy the moment.I need to pay a special thanks to my whole team, especially Scott Paterson. I had to bring in an assistant and Scott came down from Carnoustie at the drop of a hat. He’s been travelling down from Carnoustie most days and that says a lot about what kind of person he is. He’s been great in the dressing room and a huge help.”
We couldn’t finish without a word or two about the fans.
“I saw the conga and it was brilliant. The fans have been brilliant all season. I know managers and players say that the fans have been this and the fans have been that but the Thistle fans really have been brilliant this season. I thought the Raith Rovers game was the game that they made the biggest difference. We went down to ten men that night and the fans sang for the last 25 minutes and helped us get over the line that night and almost spurred us on to a winner.”