Saturday 16th February, 2013 at 9:24pm
It had been a long wait but yesterday Alan Archibald finally got his managerial career off and running. [link:HOME] caught up with Alan pitchside after yesterday’s game and he gave us his thoughts on what was an eventful afternoon.
“It was a roller coaster from start to finish and it was a bit mad but I was delighted with the boys attitude, performance and commitment. They were fantastic to a man and it was a great away performance and it was very nearly a fantastic away performance. All that was missing was the victory. What we worked on the players did and what I asked them to do they did. We didn’t lose anything from open play which I was delighted with; just a free kick and a penalty.”
What were Alan’s thoughts on the penalty decision?
“It’s a hard one. I know myself that when you are sprinting out to block a ball it can be difficult. Shug (Hugh Murray) has shown great enthusiasm to get out there and try and block the ball which is great because that’s what I asked him to do; go and press the ball. He’s sprinting out and although I haven’t seen it in slow motion to see what it’s like but it’s a hard one to get your hand out of the road of. It’s coming at him from a very short space. It’s a sore one to take. You don’t always get the benefit of those type of decision and it just so happens that we didn’t get the benefit of it today.”
There was worse to follow for Murray a few minutes later when he collected a second yellow card. Said Alan;
“I didn’t actually see what happened. He explained to me what happened and the referee said the same. They just squared up to each other. The referee said that there wasn’t a lot in it but he had to act upon it. I don’t think he had to act upon it. These things happen in the game all the time and I don’t think it is a big deal. It probably didn’t help Shug’s case that it was right in front of the Morton fans. I thought he was outstanding today though. With me not playing he and Steven Craig gave us a bit of experience and I thought that they were both fantastic. I had to take Steven off as he had been struggling for about ten minutes after taking a wee knock but I kept him on because he was useful for us when defending set plays.”
Alan could scarcely have made a better start to his managerial career with Chris Erskine giving Thistle the lead inside the first ten minutes.
“It was a great finish from Chris but I was bit disappointed with his other finish with the header. We probably got our second goal if anything a little too early. There is always a worry at 2-0. If you go on and score a third goal then you are delighted but if they get the next goal then the momentum shifts to them. We know what Morton are like; they put balls into the box and it’s hard but the two young centre backs were brilliant.”
Yesterday’s game, no matter the result, was never to decide anything which was a point that Alan was keen to highlight after the game.
“It’s in our own hands. I’ve been emphasising that to the players. If we win our games then we will go top of the league. That’s the way that you have got to look at it. I think Morton were hoping that we would roll over and die today going by some of the comments in the press. I think they thought if we were beaten then it was finished, and that’s disrespectful to the other teams in the league. There is a long way to go and there will plenty of twists and turns along the way.”