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Match Reaction

Partick Thistle v Celtic – 23rd January 2018

Partick Thistle returned to Ladbrokes Premiership action with an eventful game against Celtic from the Energy Check Stadium at Firhill. The Jags played their first league match since the end of last year as the champions came to town. Unfortunately for Thistle it wasn’t a successful return to the Premiership as Celtic ran out 2-1 winners. A first half Jags penalty was converted by Conor Sammon before the visitors scored a spot kick of their own through Scott Sinclair in the second half. Hoops substitute, Leigh Griffiths then netted the winner on 70 minutes guiding the league leaders to victory. Thistle boss, Alan Archibald spoke to after the final whistle.

To begin, Archie told us that he was disappointed to come away from the game with nothing considering how much his side put into the clash.

“It’s a tough one to take. We put so much into the game; especially the first half. In the second half, you could see we were tiring and the quality on their bench is immense so I can’t fault the lads but it would have been terrific to get even a point from the match.”

The gaffer then complimented the performances of James Penrice and Andrew McCarthy. The academy graduates both made their first starts of the new year and fit right in against the best team in Scotland.

“They were both very good. It’s all a learning experience for them at their age but there’s no better way to learn than to test yourselves against the best and that’s what they did this evening. They both showed plenty of drive and enthusiasm which is what I wanted and I was very impressed with them both. We’ve seen Andy do it before but I was happy to see James step up as well.”

Alan spoke about the selection headaches he’s having all of a sudden with a number of players making returns to the squad; something he hasn’t often experienced this season.

“It’s great to be able to get these guys back into the squad. It gives me more options off the bench which can be crucial in tight games. The competition for places is much fiercer now and although we’ve only signed one player this window, it feels like we have three or four new faces in.”

The one signing that Archie refers to is Baily Cargill. Signed this afternoon, he made his debut tonight and the gaffer was impressed by his new loan recruit.

“He adapted well to a tough situation. He got about half an hour of training yesterday on a half pitch at Toryglen so things haven’t been perfect but we’ve got through it and he’ll have a chance to get to know the boys between now and Saturday. We knew after Jordan leaving that we needed more cover at centre-half and I think we’ve found a great player in Baily.”

Alan and his squad now look towards a McDiarmid Park meeting with St. Johnstone on Saturday in the Ladbrokes Premiership. Kick-off is 15:00 in Perthshire.

A more in depth video interview with Alan Archibald is available now to Jagzone subscribers and will be followed by reaction from Mustapha Dumbuya and James Penrice. Log in now to see it as soon as it is available.

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