Sunday 5th January, 2014 at 2:34pm
Thistle at times this season have received scant reward for some excellent performances. Thistle did deserve their 2-0 success at Tynecastle, even absorbing some periods of heavy Hearts pressure in the second half, but it wasn’t the best performance that they have produced this season.
Manager Alan Archibald, when speaking to [link:HOME] wasn’t overly bothered by that fact.
“There’s not been too many occasions where we have to grind out a win this season. It wasn’t our best performance of the season but the players worked really hard to get the win and I’m delighted for them. They’ve reacted well to the heavy defeat against Motherwell. It was a strike from about 25 yards out that won the game for Celtic on New Year’s Day and the closest that Hearts came to a goal today, when they hit the bar, was a shot from outside the box as well.”
Thistle’s opening goal, scored by Lyle Taylor in only his second Thistle appearance, was a bit of a scrappy goal. Said the Thistle manager;
“It was just a long clearance from Gabriel Piccolo that Kallum Higginbotham managed to flick on and I’m delighted that Lyle managed to open his account for us. Hopefully there are plenty more to follow. I’m pleased too that Aaron Taylor-Sinclair got on the score sheet. He’s a big lad at over 6ft and obviously has the height that can cause problems at set pieces. It was good too to score from a set piece as that’s something that we haven’t had too much success with so far this season. Getting a second goal before half-time was very important as we knew that Hearts would come at us strongly at as in the second half.”
The game itself wasn’t the prettiest and was played at a furious pace throughout.
“I think that has something to do with Tynecastle and the atmosphere is generated. I loved coming here as a player and you feel that the crowd are right on top of you. Talking about the atmosphere I thought the Thistle fans were brilliant this afternoon. They simply never stopped singing.”
It wasn’t all good news, however, with Stuart Bannigan picking up two yellow cards in quick succession leaving Thistle to finish the game with ten men.
“I thought the first booking was a little harsh”, said Alan before continuing;
“When he was booked I did think about taking him off at that point but he is a very important part of our midfield. I don’t know if he has crossed the suspension threshold or not, I’ll need to check with Ian Maxwell, but he will miss next weekend’s game with Ross County. That’s a blow and that makes it all the more important that we try and bring someone in. We are working hard in trying to do just that but you are never confident that a deal will be completed until pen has been put to paper.”