Saturday 5th March, 2016 at 3:39pm
Despite suffering a narrow defeat in a tight game at Tynecastle, manager Alan Archibald was keen to highlight the positives from the performance when he spoke to ptfc.co.uk shortly after the game.
“There are a lot of positives to take from that game. The performance was the best we have produced against Hearts this season and I thought we were worthy of a point. It’s disappointing to be heading back without anything. Hearts managed to get the only goal of the game to show the tight margins that exist in Premiership football.
“The goal came from a set piece which is extra disappointing. We practice them during the week and we know what Hearts like to do. They won a lot of corners in the early stages of thegame and we had done well to cope against them. Tomas had just saved a good header from Rossi at the near post and Djoum has got in at the back post on the second one. Its small margins like that which decide games.”
There was a worrying sight for Thistle fans as Stuart Bannigan limped off in the very shadow of half time and we asked the gaffer how he was.
“It’s too early to tell. He’s gone to chase the goalkeeper down and as he has looked to slow, the ground has given way under his outstretched leg. We’ll have the players in tomorrow morning and we’ll assess him tomorrow. It’s disappointing to lose Stuart, he’s been the heartbeat of our side in recent weeks and we hope it’s not going to sideline him for too long.”
Despite the match at Tynecastle being the team’s third in seven days, there was no signs of fatigue throughout the side, something which pleased the manager.
“The players are incredibly fit, which is all credit to Junior Mendes and his sports science team. We didn’t really suffer from tiredness in what was a draining match. The performance was good and while we didn’t create as many clear cut chances as we would have liked, we were very solid defensively.
“We’ve used a few different players over the last few games, just to freshen it up and keep the side at its strongest for every match. The hard run isn’t over yet, we have another two games in the week ahead and we’ll continue to utilise our squad as best we can to get as many points as we can from what will be two very difficult games.”
Thistle drop down to 8th in the Ladbrokes Premiership but the gaffer isn’t getting too downbeat.
“We won on Wednesday night which didn’t guarantee us to finish top six. A defeat today doesn’t condemn us to the bottom six. The league is incredibly compact and we have six games to get as many points as we can and see where we end up.
“It’s disappointing to lose narrowly today, but what it has shown the players is that they can match the best in the league. We’ve conceded a goal from a set piece through a defensive mistake and there is plenty to be encouraged about. If we can take the same application and commitment into Tuesday night, along with a little bit more belief then there is no reason why we can’t pick up points, particularly at Firhill.”