Saturday 5th April, 2014 at 2:51pm
There was an obvious sense of gloom and despondency in the Thistle camp at the end of Saturday’s game with Hearts and when [link:HOME] caught up with manager Alan Archibald after the game we asked him if he could account for what he had just witnessed from his team?
“No I don’t think that we can. We stressed to the boys that the three points had to mean more to usthan they did to Hearts and in the first 20 minutes it looked like that but it soon changed. We stopped doing what we were doing ever so well and that changed the pattern of the game.”
“We set up with a game plan and it was working. I don’t know if the players thought that it was going to be easy but I’ve seen this Hearts team many times and they have great fighting character and they showed that.”
Not for the first time this season Thistle were left cursing missed chances that could possibly have had a major impact on the outcome of the game; Lyle Taylor missing an excellent chance that would have put Thistle 2-0 ahead.
“That would have made a big difference”, said Archibald referring to that chance before continuing;
“We’ve found out all this season that if you don’t take your chances then that can come back to haunt you and it certainly did today. It wasn’t long after that chance that Hearts got back into the game.”
Alan went on;
“It wasn’t a surprise when they equalised. We started to give them possession in our half and we dropped a little too deep for my liking and we gave them too much space. To be honest at the stage in the game they could easily have been 2-1 up.”
The manner in which the goals were lost was another major disappointment for the Thistle manager.
“Regardless of how we were playing the goals that we gave away were poor goals. Two of them came from set plays and that kills you. We had gone two up front as well with Kris Doolan up top with Lyle Taylor in an attempt to get back into the game. We went two up front because this was a game that were looking to win and we were a goal behind and we wanted to get back into the game as quickly as possible and that’s what we tried to do.”
In sharp contrast with Hearts, Alan felt his side produced a fearful display.
“After the first 20 minutes I think Hearts played with a freedom and we didn’t. We played with a fear. You can’t be fearful in the position that we are in. You have to stand up and show character and spirit and that’s what we’ll need to do to stay in this league.”
Two late goals for St Mirren and a 3-2 win over Motherwell dropped Thistle into the dreaded play-off slot making it a truly awful afternoon for Thistle.
“It certainly does but that’s the nature of the beast, we’ll find that out in the next five games. We are all playing each other and something has to give in each game. The one thing about the split is that you know that if you win your games you will be fine but you need to go out and win those games.”