Tuesday 21st July, 2015 at 3:24pm
Alan Archibald brought his squad to Firhill, for the first time in the 2015/16 season, for a friendly against League One side, Wigan Athletic. Following a tired looking performance against Falkirk on Saturday, Archie was keen to see a different side to his Thistle team. “It was a much different game to Saturday, different opposition, different tempo and different quality. It was a game that didn’t feel particularly like a pre-season match and it was played at a decent tempo. That’s exactly what you want at this time of the season because all too often you end up with gameslike Saturday and that isn’t nearly as much use to the team.”Steven Lawless scored the Jags’ only goal of the game and Archibald was once again impressed the winger, who signed a contract extension at the end of last season. “Stevie has had a tremendous pre-season and we’ll be looking for more of the same once the season starts. He’s the sort of player who can cause defences real problems, especially when he gets the ball at his feet and he showed that today.”Another Thistle midfielder who could play a big role in the Jags’Ladbrokes Premiership campaign is Sean Welsh. Having gone through injury hell over the past two years Sean has fought back into contention in the last month but didn’t reappear for the second 45 – a fact that caused concern for many fans. Archibald was quick to dismiss any major worries though.
“Someone stood on Sean in the first half and we didn’t want to take any risks – it was as simple as that. He wanted to play on but we told him just to get himself in the ice bath and rest it. It was just a very minor knock and it shouldn’t have any repercussions after tonight. “Sean has been through so much over the last two years we just want to take it extra slow with him to make sure he is 100% andisn’t going to do himself any further damage. To be fair with Sean it has been three different injuries so it isn’t like the same thing is recurring over and over – he has just had terrible luck! “I really don’t want to talk too much about him for fear of jinxing him but, needless to say, he could be like a new signing for us and we just have to hope this is the start of a new leaf for him.”Thistle’s latest signing, Gary Miller, also took his Firhill bow tonight, albeit only for the last 20 minutes, but Archie was pleased with his fitness and contribution. “I thought Gary did well when he came on and we’re pleased with his overall fitness. Tonight was just about getting the minutes right for everyone which is why he only played a limited role, but we’re looking forward to seeing more of him when the season starts.”As the start of the season approaches all eyes are on the transfer market for further additions to the Firhill squad, but the manager remains resolute that he will not sign players just for the sake of it and will only look to get quality in that will enhance the overall level of his side. “We’re still trying for another striker, we have a number of irons in the fire but we’ll need to keep working on those as none of them are over the line yet.