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Match Reaction

Partick Thistle v Hamilton Academical – 18th February 2017

After the previous weekend’s cup success, it was a triumphant return to league action for Alan Archibald’s Partick Thistle side as they defeated Hamilton 2-0, moving into the top six. Kris Doolan and Chris Erskine were the main men as they changed the game in the Jags favour after coming off the bench. Doolan grabbed two goals, bringing him to 97 competitive Thistle goals. The Thistle boss, Alan Archibald, spoke with after the game.

Archie started by stressing the importance of a win on a crucial day for the club’s season.

“I’m very happy with the result. I have to admit; it was a terrible game of football but we’ve lost games where we’ve played a lot better than that. It always feels good when we pick up points despite not being at our best.”

He was very complimentary of his two impact substitutes, Kris Doolan and Chris Erskine, who managed to change the game.

“I think the way the game was going it was ideal to bring them both on. The game suited them when they came on whereas it might not have suited them in the first half. I imagine that they’ve not been happy having been left out recently so it was good to see a reaction.”

The gaffer was also happy that the aforementioned Kris Doolan was back amongst the goals after a substantial drought, by his standards.

“We’ve struggled to find the net recently but Kris is someone who can rely on to score and he always comes up with the goods when you need him to. He tends to go on scoring runs and hopefully this is the start of another one.”

Archibald then spoke about how his team seamlessly changed formation throughout the match, to his players’ credit.

“We had to change our shape in the first half. We weren’t passing the ball how we wanted to and we weren’t using the wide areas effectively. We changed again in the second half when we made our substitutions and credit to the lads for being able to go with the changes.”

Despite a fairly average performance, Alan noted that as the season creeps into the latter stages points are the priority.

“I think that’s one of the reasons for the game being so poor. There’s so much at stake and with the table so tight, three points can be massive and we’re just pleased that not only have we got the win but we’ve also moved further away from the today’s opponents.”

The Jags boss was also pleased with the fact that his side are now in the top six and are very much in with a chance of finishing there, come the end of the season.

“Obviously I’m happy that we’re in the top half but we’ve climbed up there and dropped out again a couple of times already this season so we certainly can’t rest easy. Last time we were in sixth I think it lasted three days so we can’t dwell on it. I said to the lads before the game, this was the first of nine games before the split and if we are still close to sixth towards the end of those nine then we’ll be in with a shout.”

He also recognised that everything is still up for grabs among the bottom seven teams as it’s been so tight this season.

“I think most of the teams in the bottom half have aspirations of grabbing that sixth position. If we want to make it then we have to put a run together and get a bit of consistency. Hopefully we can create some good home form off the back of this win and we also have to make sure we win the games against those around us, as is always the case.”

The manager was also impressed by his team’s defensive solidarity. In the early parts of the season, his side had a tendency to lose late goals but they seem to have eradicated that habit.

“I thought that we looked quite comfortable, I didn’t feel nervous late on, to be honest. Our defending was one of the things that I felt went well today. I was really happy with the defenders who played today.”

Thistle now look forward to a clash with Hearts at Firhill next week on Saturday 25th with kick-off at 15:00 for that game.

A more in depth video interview with Alan Archibald is available now to Jagzone subscribers and will be followed by reaction from Chris Erskine and Liam Lindsay. Log in now to see it as soon as it is available.

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