Saturday 1st August, 2015 at 3:21pm
It was a tough day for Thistle in the opening game of the season
and Alan Archibald spoke to ptfc.co.uk shortly after full time
to give his thoughts.
“It was a tough shift. Thankfully we’ve had a great preseason
which is thanks to Junior Mendes. The fitness levels of the
players were high and they needed to be. The sun came out
as well and that made it harder with 10 men. It wasn’t ideal. David
Amoo also had to go off with a tweaked hamstring as well so we
were really up against it with two enforced substitutions. Thistle defended resolutely and Alan was pleased with how his side performed in adversity.
“At times we didn’t look like we had 10 men. We were great
and organised with Dools up top. I thought we done really well
and it was only the last 10 or 15 minutes where Hamilton posed
problems. It was down to Hamilton’s movement but our young
two centre halves did really well.
“We said to the team at half time, make them go round the
sides. Do not let through the middle of us. They did it once
or twice, hitting the post. That was our game plan, to make them go round the sides and picking up once the crosses when they came in.”
Thistle kept a clean sheet on the opening day of a league season for the third consecutive season and Alan was quick to praise Tomas Cerny who made a couple of tremendous saves.
“The clean sheet is down to a number of people but none more
so than Tomas. He made a couple of outstanding saves and it
beds him into the side even more. He’s been great in pre-season
and today the fans got to see the quality he does have.
“It’s fantastic[to record a third consecutive opening day clean
sheet] and long may it continue. The more clean sheets the
better as far as I’m concerned. Clean sheets kept us up last
season and played a big part in us finishing 8th.”
Kris Doolan had a lonely shift up front on his own for the
majority of the game due to Frederic Frans’ early red card.
“It was harsh on Doolan but he had to go and work hard up
front. We took off Ryan Stevenson just after the red card
because he hasn’t had a lot of game time and we knew we
needed legs and energy in the heart of our midfield. David
Amoo came off injured as well, which is unfortunate as we’d
probably have taken Doolan off if he hadn’t picked up an injury.
Doolan worked really hard though and was part of a great team
Thistle face a tough game against Celtic next week, but Alan
was keen to take the positives from the opening day match.
“It’s a good point. A good clean sheet, especially with ten men.
We’ll take the positives from the game. Freddie will be
suspended for next week. We’ll see how David is and we’ll see
what lads are ready for next week. Today we showed real
organisation and the pleasing thing is that it continued when the young lads came on.”