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Match Reaction

Partick Thistle v Ross County – 4th May 2018

After two games without defeat to kick off the post-split fixtures, Partick Thistle welcomed Ross County to Maryhill looking to push the Staggies to the very edge of the drop. In the end, the Ladbrokes Premiership battled to a 1-1 draw as the race for survival trundles on. The Jags took the lead in the 21st minute as Kris Doolan fed Chris Erskine, who volleyed home from close range past ex-teammate Scott Fox. Unfortunately for the hosts, they couldn’t reach half time with the lead as Billy McKay levelled things with three minutes left of the opening 45. The two relegation candidates fought out a scrappy second half but despite both sides creating, neither team could find a crucial winner and the match ended in a draw. Thistle boss, Alan Archibald spoke to following an exhausting 90 minutes of football.

We began by asking Alan about his view of the first half as his side dominated, took the lead and then suffered a major setback in the form of County’s equaliser.

“We started well, I felt. We were on the front foot and matched them excellently. I definitely thought we deserved our goal but we seemed to slowly fall away after we scored. Our decision-making got worse and we became slightly panicky. I think you could maybe see that we haven’t led too many games recently and, in the end, we lose a disappointing goal.”

Archie was pleased with the way that his side stuck to their task. The Jags didn’t give away too many clear cut opportunities and even managed to create a couple of their own chances in the dying moments of the match.

“I was generally happy with what the players put into the game. They showed a bit of that dig and fight although County had their spell. I think that when Baily Cargill had to come off, we looked a bit shaken and took a while for us to re-adjust but that’s only natural. We rode their pressure well and ultimately, could have taken all three points if one of those chances at the end go in.”

The gaffer mentioned that although his team didn’t pick up all three points, going another game without defeat keeps his side undefeated since the split which can only be positive psychologically for his squad.

“I said the same after last week’s draw; it keeps us on a little mini run which we were looking for coming into the split. Obviously, we need to turn these into wins but we’ve at least shaken that losing habit that we had struggled with for a very long time.  Also, we’ve now scored in three consecutive games which is a massive positive because we had gone a very long time without scoring ahead of the Hamilton game.”

Alan ended by talking about the final two games of the season and discussing what he wants to see from his side as they fight for survival.

“There are two huge fixtures still to play and we need to take full advantage of them as opportunities to get points. We have to show fight and spirit but also be more clinical when we’re on top. While we don’t control what happens with tenth, we can control whether we finish bottom and that has to be the motivation for the lads. No matter what County do, they can’t catch us if we do the business so it’s down to us now.”

The first of those two enormous games comes on Tuesday night at the Energy Check Stadium at Firhill once again as Thistle host Motherwell. Kick-off is 19:45 in Maryhill.

A more in depth video interview with Alan Archibald is available now to Jagzone subscribers and will be followed by reaction from Kris Doolan and Martin Woods. Log in now to see it as soon as it is available.

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