Saturday 7th December, 2013 at 2:26pm
A goal deep into injury time yesterday denied Thistle what would have been a hugely welcome three points. When speaking to [link:HOME] after the game manager Alan Archibald summed up pretty much what every Thistle fan was thinking at the time.
“It feels 100% like a defeat there is no doubt about that. To lose a goal in the last minute after such a good performance is horrible. The fact that we had defended so well till then just makes it even harder to take.”
Overall though the manager was happy with his side’s performance.
“I don’t think that we looked like a side short of confidence. It was always going to be difficult today with a great atmosphere round the club at Hibs at the moment and with the game being Terry Butcher’s first in charge. I felt that we went out there and more than matched them in every area and we grew in confidence as the game went on.”
That confidence took a real boost after Kris Doolan’s goal. Said Alan;
“You could see the belief in the players every time they broke on Hibs and it looked as if we might pick them off. Ross Forbes was unlucky with his chance. I think he thought that the ball had come off his hand and that’s why he had a wee snatch at the chance.”
The manager was full of praise for Kris Doolan’s goal; the 60th goal of his Thistle career.
“It was a fantastic goal. We tell Dools all the time to work the two centre halves as much as he can. At times he can be a wee bit isolated up front although we try and make sure that that doesn’t happen. On this occasion he was isolated but didn’t need anyone’s help as he went from the halfway line and slotted the ball home brilliantly.”
Despite the late goal the manager is taking plenty of positives from yesterday’s performance.
“The back four has had to change a bit in recent weeks with injuries and suspensions and I thought they were outstanding apart, obviously, for the last minute goal. We reorganised well with the injuries we had. The Hibs approach was a bit like that of Inverness and they brought on the big centre half for the last 5 minutes or so for balls into the box. Over the whole game I felt that we coped well with what Hibs had to offer and we will take the positives from that.”
Thistle lost both Steven Lawless and Kallum Higginbotham to injury during the course of the game and the manager is hoping that neither injury will prove to be too serious.
“I’ve not really had the chance to talk to Kenny Crichton yet but we are hoping that it is just a dead leg that Steven Lawless has suffered. It looks as if he just took a thud on the leg and hopefully it won’t be anything more serious than a dead leg. He really couldn’t move after that which was a blow as I thought Steven was doing well. He was just starting to get in the game. We played him in behind Kris Doolan today just to try and change things about. It looked a sore one for Kallum at the time and I was surprised that he managed to try and carry on and after a few minutes we took him off. I have to say that I thought the subs slotted in really well when they came on. It looked like a real team performance today.”
Having halted a run of defeats we are now going into a vital period where we will be up against those sides in and around us in the league table.
“Hibs are just three points ahead of us and are the nearest team to us above us in the league table. I don’t think there is much between them and us and the likes of Ross County, St Mirren and Kilmarnock. We are as good, on our, as any of them and the players just need to keep believing in themselves. The next couple of months are going to be a crucial period for us. The more players that we can get back fit and free from suspension the better.”