Saturday 24th November, 2012 at 9:11pm
It was anticipated that the visit to Firhill yesterday of an in-form Livingston side was going to present us with a tough challenge and with that in mind Jackie McNamara was delighted to have won the three points when he spoke to the press after yesterday’s game.
“I’m delighted with the win as that’s a good Livingston side that we were playing. I thought that in the first half our passing was a little bit slack at times. We tried too many balls from back to front rather than passing it and moving the ball quickly. All credit to Livingston they came and played and they caused us a few problems in the first half. I knew though at half-time if we did things properly in the second half we would win the match.”
“I thought that we had a couple of good chances in the first half, albeit so did Livingston. Second half I felt that we really kicked on. We passed the ball a lot better especially down the left hand side. I thought that Aaron Sinclair was fantastic and caused them a lot of problems with some great balls across.”
With seven home games played so far this season and seven wins recorded Firhill is turning into something of a fortress for Thistle at present. Said the Thistle manager;
“We’ve been scoring a lot of goals at Firhill and the good thing is that we aren’t conceding too many either. All credit to Graeme Smith today; he had a couple of good saves for us at vital times. After last week I was delighted for him.”
The manager was delighted with the contribution too of Stuart Bannigan who, of course, scored our second goal yesterday.
“Stuart is a good footballer who can play anywhere. He was very close with his right foot in the first half but it was a great finish for the second goal. He has a great attitude and shows great desire out on the pitch. He’s a fantastic footballer and a great professional. I was delighted to have him back after being out following the injury he sustained at Falkirk.”
Many people were a bit surprised not to see Steven Craig’s name on the Thistle team sheet yesterday and the manager was able to explain his absence.
“He’s sick and he’s also had a bit of a back spasm. We’ve been tested a bit in the last few weeks with two goalies out and some suspensions. It is important that we have a squad of players for the whole season as everyone is going to be needed and tested. It was great to have young Bannigan back today and Hugh Murray came back into the team.”
“We changed things about a bit today. We moved Stephen O’Donnell back to right back and we dropped our Club captain Alan Archibald. Archie is part of the management team with myself and Simon and we talk about things and we felt that the form of Conrad Balatoni merited a place in the team. When you look at the age of the defence you could say it was a bit of a gamble leaving out a player of Archie’s experience but we need to do what we can to try and win each game. We want to win and we also want to entertain the supporters. When we play well hopefully the fans enjoy that and keep coming back.”
Livingston’s Gareth Evans meantime wasn’t too despondent with his side’s performance;
“I thought that we did okay first half. Partick are not top of the league for no reason and I thought that they played very well second half. It was a switch off at a set piece that let us down and ultimately turned the game. In terms of chances I think we had the better chances in the first half.”