Saturday 15th July, 2017 at 8:53pm
After a busy summer of pre-season preparing for the return of competitive football, the day was finally here for Alan Archibald. His Thistle side took on Livingston in the Betfred Cup as the new season got underway. Unfortunately, for the Jags’ boss it was an unsuccessful return to competitive play as the teams drew 1-1 during the regulation 90 minutes with Livingston going on to win on penalties to claim a bonus point. Alan Archibald spoke to ptfc.co.uk after the disappointing Betfred Cup clash.
Archie was pleased with the way his team began the match as they opened the scoring in the 15th minute and showed some attacking spark in the early stages.
“I thought we started brightly, it was probably our best spell of the game in the first 20 minutes. We should have made more of what we were doing at that time but unfortunately, they came out for the second half and scored at what was a good time for them and a terrible time for us. However, that’s no excuse, we weren’t good enough in the second half.”
Although some managers might blame a poor performance on a lack of fitness among their squad in July, Alan wasn’t making any excuses for his team’s poor display.
“It wasn’t a fitness problem. It was the same last year. We have to go out there and win the games and we just didn’t show enough out there to deserve the victory. Obviously, our injury problems were a big issue but the lads who were on the pitch have to perform.”
The gaffer did mention the injury problems when speaking as four important first team players were missing today, including club captain, Abdul Osman as well as long-term absentee, Gary Fraser.
“We want to make it out the group. From my point of view, I’m trying to get us in a winning shape without a number of important players. We didn’t have anyone on the bench to change the game as they were all young lads. Stuart Bannigan had to play 90 minutes which is a credit to the player but not ideal when it’s his first competitive start last March.”
Although, he was short on numbers today, Archie says that he hopes to see some of the missing players return soon.
“Obviously, two are long term and three are closer. Mustapha Dumbuya and Gary Fraser are out for a while but we do hope to see Abdul, Niall Keown and Callum Booth back soon.”
Thistle now turn their attention to the St. Mirren game next Saturday at Firhill. The Championship side come to Maryhill off the back of a convincing win over Stranraer and will provide another tough test for Alan Archibald’s Jags. Kick-off is at 15:00.
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