Saturday 19th March, 2016 at 3:36pm
Thistle rounded off a lengthy run of fixtures with a victory at Hamilton and it was a delighted Alan Archibald who spoke toptfc.co.uk shortly after the fulltime whistle.
“It’s great to get three points. Hamilton is always a tough place to come and we had to battle hard to get ourselves back into the game when we went 1-0 down so early. We had a terrific second half and scored two good goals to secure all three points.”
There was a late change to the Thistle starting line up when Liam Lindsay pulled out with an injury at around 2:45 and Archie admits the change affected the start of the game.
“Liam’s pulled up with an injury bang on quarter to three so we’ve had to shuffle bodies around. Sean Welsh went to right back, Gary Miller went inside to central defence as we chose to introduce Ryan Edwards to the side. It wasn’t ideal and it probably contributed to our lethargic start to the game.
“For the first 20 minutes we weren’t at the races. Hamilton were pressing us high and Tomas Cerny had to deal with a lot of pass backs in the early stages, so we knew something had to change. We switched Ryan Edwards and Gary Fraser and had a lot more joy with that in the second half.”
Ryan Edwards netted the winner, showing a lot of character to get on the end of Kris Doolan’s cross and the manager was pleased to see him bag his first professional goal.
“Ryan was the late addition to the side and I thought he didever so well today, particularly since he was only thrust into the side 15 minutes before the game started. When he played further forward he was always advancing into the box to support Mathias and he got his reward with the goal.
“We’ve had a tough run of fixtures over the last few weeks and Ryan has been one of the main beneficiaries of that, as we have been able to give him the game time he’s needed. His goal today capped off a fine game from him and I’m delighted for him.”
Thistle head into the International break and don’t play again for another two weeks, giving the opportunity for a bit of rest ahead of the final stages of the season.
“The International break has come at a great time for us. We’ve won, so we’re all going to be on a high for a few days, but it gives the legs a chance to recover. We’re also a little short squad wise as you’ve seen today so it’ll be good to get a couple of them back to full fitness after the break.”
At half time Thistle sat in 10th position before ending the day in 7th and the gaffer is focussing on safety first before looking upwards.
“We’ve pulled another three points away from Kilmarnock and Hamilton with today’s victory. We’re making sure that we don’t get pulled into the playoff battle before focussing on the teams above us. We have three tough games left before the split and we know we’ll have to perform well in all to get the results we want to push us up the table.”
Finally, Alan had a word of thanks to the Thistle support, numbering over 1,000, who travelled to Hamilton today.
“Thistle fans always travel in big numbers and today was no exception. They gave the lads plenty of backing and didn’t turn on them when we went 1-0 down. They stuck with us and I’m glad we got the two goals to turn the match around. The goals went in at their end so they were able to enjoy them up close. It’s always sweet to go into an international break with a win and I hope the fans enjoy the winning feeling for the next two weeks.”