Saturday 27th October, 2012 at 9:05pm
In many ways it was a frustrating afternoon for Thistle at the Falkirk Stadium today. Trailing Thistle by 12 points prior to kick-off it was expected that the home side would have been a little more forceful in the way that they played the game. Instead they seemed content to try and contain Thistle and catch us on the counter attack.
Speaking after the game the Thistle manager Jackie McNamara saw Falkirk’s approach to the game as being a compliment to his side.
“I think that it was a great compliment to us that they played the way that they did; trying to stop us from playing when they are at home. They played with just the one striker but as I said, it’s a big compliment to us and the way that we have been doing things that they deployed the system that they did and played the way that they did.We would maybe expect that sort of thing when we are playing at home but not when we are away from home against a side that are trying to get themselves back into contention in the league. You know, it nearly worked for them. They’ve had a couple of breakaways and Scott Fox had one good save in the first half.”
“I was delighted with the attitude that we showed although at times I felt that we allowed ourselves to get a little frustrated and went a little too long with the ball. When you allow yourself to get frustrated that you lose your discipline a little bit and full backs get a little too far advanced up the park. On another day though we might have got a wee break and nicked a goal. You know, come the end of the season it could prove to be a good point for us. On the overall scale of things it’s a better point for us right now than it is for Falkirk. They’ve not won a lot of games, especially at home, and you can see why.”
Prior to the game the manager had admitted that he had some selection problems and after the game he confessed that it hadn’t been easy to leave both Alan Archibald and Hugh Murray out of the side.
“It was hard to leave them out because they have both been excellent for us this season, but it is very hard too to change a team that has just won 7-0 and kept a clean sheet. Those players deserved to remain in the starting line up.”
The changes that Jackie made during the course of the game were very positive ones, designed to give his side the maximum opportunity to collect all three points rather than settle for just one from an away draw.
“I was trying to go for it. I will always try to go for it rather than try and get the draw. I send my teams out to entertain and try and hopefully get the three points. Today we were playing against a side, who were at home, that were happy to stop us from playing and catch us on the break.”
One change that Jackie was forced into making saw an injured Stuart Bannigan replaced by Aaron Sinclair following a tackle that the Thistle manager was most unhappy about.
“I’ve just seen a picture of it and it is shocking challenge on Stuart. It’s horrendous, a real ‘leg breaker’. I thought that at the time. I thought that the FalkirK player slowed down to make sure that he got the ball and Stuart. When you look at the height that he has come in at, right at the shin, then you can see that Stuart has been fortunate not to have received a really nasty injury. His ankle though has swollen up like a balloon and we will need to assess his injury on Monday and see what the damage is, but it could have been a lot worse.”