Tuesday 19th February, 2013 at 9:26pm
In a long Partick Thistle career Alan Archibald has had some notable firsts; first appearance, first goal (yes he has scored a few) and first championship medal to name but a few. Last night he added first win as a manager to the list.
The first question then that [link:HOME] asked him after the game last night was how did it feel to have won his first game as ‘gaffer’?
“It’s a brilliant feeling. It was a bit scary for the last ten minutes there and I think that is the horrible side of management; having to stand at the side unable to affect the game other than by making substitutions. I thoroughly enjoyed the win.”
How does winning as a manager compare to winning as a player?
“I think it felt better to be honest with you. There was a lot of relief at the end of the game. It felt really good tonight especially on the back of the draw down at Morton. The win tonight made that point a good point.”
Victory last night extended an unbeaten run to a fourth game with three of those four games finishing in Thistle victories.
“I think people forget that we are on a good run. I think people thought that when Jackie left that we would just roll over and die and I think the players were a bit hurt by that. Some people seemed to think that the league was over because we had so many games in hand but we are in good form. We had won back to back games at home before Jackie left and that victory tonight makes, as I said, the point at Morton on Saturday a good one.”
There was delight that finally one of those games in hand had been played and won. Said Alan;
“A game in hand is just a statistic and we’ve turned one of them into three points. Hamilton made it really hard for us but the ground out the result. We were patient when we needed to be patient and the goal came.”
Although the margin of victory was a narrow one, on another night Thistle could easily have scored a few more goals.
“It was frustrating at times. Their goalkeeper had been outstanding against us twice previously this season and made world class saves. Tonight he had saves from an Aaron Muirhead header in the first half and one from Stuart Bannigan in the second half that were outstanding saves. For me tonight’s win was more enjoyable than a 5-0 win would have been. Maybe the fans wouldn’t enjoy that so much, but we really ground out the win tonight and it was pleasing for me to see them do that and keep a good clean sheet. I thought on Saturday that losing two goals was harsh on the back four because as a unit I thought that they defended very well. Tonight as well they defended really well.”
Next up is a meeting with Airdrie United at Firhill on Saturday and Alan is expecting another very tough fixture.
“They are going to make it very difficult for us, we know that and it will be down to us to break them down. I can’t emphasise enough the importance of the fans sticking with us. I know sometimes it can be not that great but be patient. We’ll see a lot of the ball and we’ll need to take care when we are in possession of the ball and don’t give much away. I’m always confident that we can score goals.”
Will much, if any, attention be paid to how Morton are getting on in their fixture at Dunfermline on Saturday?
“All we can do is take care of what we are doing. If we don’t win then there is no point in us looking at Morton’s results. The main thing is that we go out and win the game. Win the game, deal with that first and then see what happens. As I’ve said before I think some people are being disrespectful to other teams in the league. We’ve still 42 points to play for this season and every team in the league is going to have a say in how it finishes. Bottom can beat top just as easily as top can beat bottom. There’s a long, long way to go.”
Finally, we asked Alan if there were any injuries to worry about after last night’s game?
“There was nothing obvious although there were a few tired legs at the end of the game. Kenny Crichton will have them in tomorrow and have a closer look and see if there are any problems. We’ll obviously have to adjust the training schedule anyway with all the games that are coming up.”