Saturday 3rd February, 2018 at 7:15pm
Partick Thistle tried to continue their recent upturn in performances with a trip to Fir Park this afternoon. The Jags had the chance to move out of the bottom two spots for the first time since November and that was an opportunity that they took as they drew with Stephen Robinson’s Motherwell. Kris Doolan gave the Jags the lead after 53 minutes when he headed home a Martin Woods free-kick. Thistle then faced a period of defending and as it looked like the away side may cling on for a win, Nadir Ciftci slammed home a leveller with 11 minutes to play. Results elsewhere meant the point moved Thistle into tenth place but there was a feeling that they could have taken more from the ‘Well. The Jags’ manager, Alan Archibald spoke to ptfc.co.uk following the game to reflect on the 90 minutes.
Archie began by telling us how disappointed he was to miss out on what could have been a crucial three points.
“We fought well today but I thought, given the circumstances, we should have won. Our shape was good and we were easily dealing with most of their balls into the box. The way we conceded was frustrating. If we just keep Ciftci facing away from goal then he can’t get his shot away. At the end of the day we put a lot of effort in and will probably see it as a good point in a couple of days.”
Archie was pleased with the way Thistle battled Motherwell; matching them for most of the game having been dominated by the Steelmen the last time the side’s met at Fir Park.
“I didn’t think there was much in the game and it was probably a horrible game to watch for the neutral but that’s what it’s like at the bottom of the table. The midfield was where all the action was happening and for spells it did become very scrappy which didn’t really help either side. Our guys did pretty well with what they got and gave it everything they had which is the first thing that we ask of them.”
Kris Doolan opened the game’s scoring as he bagged his 111th Thistle goal. It was also the forward’s 99th league goal in Jags colours and Alan was pleased with the number nine’s contribution.
“It was an excellent header from Kris but I think even he was surprised that he found so much space in the box. Sometimes having more time to think about the finish can make it more difficult but Kris is the player you want those chances to fall to and he guides it home brilliantly. Kris has been stop-start this season because of some injuries and the team’s overall form. He’s been training more regularly now and we hope he’s over those injury issues which would give us great options up front.”
The gaffer was also full of praise for Tomas Cerny. The Czech ‘keeper made a couple of crucial saves during the game and those saves were key to coming away with a point.
“He made a pair of really good stops but the one early in the second half was magnificent. The Motherwell boy seemed to head it off someone else and then it was bouncing in but Tomas makes a great one handed save. That’s what Tomas is there to do; he’s been a great player for us and he’ll have to be on top form if we’re going to climb this league.”
The Jags now look forward to a Tuesday night meeting with city rivals, Rangers. A result against the Gers could potentially allow Thistle to move further up the Ladbrokes Premiership table. Kick-off is 19:45 from the Energy Check Stadium at Firhill.
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