Saturday 1st April, 2017 at 9:13pm
After giving away four points in their last two games as a result of late goals, Partick Thistle were glad to pick up a victory against Ross County at Firhill. With Kilmarnock hot on their tails in the race for sixth, it was important that they weren’t left rueing missed opportunities.
Things weren’t looking great when Ross County took the lead through Craig Curran early in the second half but two goals from Kris Doolan – the first of which was his 100th competitive Thistle goal – secured the three points for the Firhill side and, with Kilmarnock having drawn away at Inverness, the Jags now move four points clear of the bottom half. Thistle boss, Alan Archibald, spoke to ptfc.co.uk following the match to offer his view of the game.
After a sub-par first half showing, Archie was happy with the way that his team turned their performances around.
“We weren’t at the races for the first half. The credit goes to County as they were probably the better side. I think the fact that Abdul Osman picked up a small injury early on, well before being taken off, didn’t help. However, I was happy with the lads in the second half, we asked them to take a bit of responsibility and I think they did that.”
The gaffer was also very complimentary when talking about Kris Doolan who, as previously mentioned, netted his 100th and 101st competitive Jags goals.
“I just touched on players taking responsibility and no one does that better than Kris. He also takes it upon himself – maybe sometimes too much – to score our goals but it’s a fitting way for him to hit 100, with two goals to turn the game around.”
Doolan wore the captain’s armband as he struck twice to give his side the win and Alan Archibald identified the striker as a role model to young players.
“He’s done brilliantly for us and nothing we can give him would equal what he’s done for the club. If there are any young boys who want someone to look up to at our club, on and off the pitch, no one is a better professional than Kris. You won’t hear anyone say a bad word about him and many people say that good guys don’t get rewards but thankfully Kris is being rewarded for the work he puts in.”
Archie was also pleased that his team saw the game out well after conceding late goals in their last two matches.
“We had our captain missing, so we lacked a bit of height late on and County were throwing everything at us in the dying minutes but I thought we saw the game out very well. I thought that Ade Azeez came on at the end and caused their defence some major problems and wound the clock down for us which is something we asked him to do.”
Despite increasing the gap between his side and the bottom six, the manager realises that his team may well need that cushion considering the games they have between now and the split.
“We will need the breathing space we have now. We know the run that we have. We’ve got Celtic and Rangers coming up with Motherwell sandwiched in between so it is a tough run. However, we must give the lads credit. After the St. Johnstone cup game, we asked them to put a run together for the final 10 games and they’ve done that. We haven’t lost a league game so far since then so we’ll go to Parkhead in good confidence.”
Although Archie endeavours to stay grounded at all times, he is under no illusions as to how important a top six finish would be to Partick Thistle Football Club.
“It would be massive for the club but I’d rather get there first and then talk about it, to be honest. We’re not over the line yet, Killie and Dundee aren’t far behind and a couple of results could change things very quickly.”
The boss also gave a quick update on the health of Abdul Osman who was forced off in first half stoppage time with an injury.
“I’m not 100 percent sure yet. I’ve spoken to the physio quickly and we think it might be a dislocation but we’ll have to wait and see.”
Alan Archibald’s Thistle side are next in action against Celtic on Wednesday night at Parkhead as they look to become just the third team to take points from the league leaders. Kick-off is at 19:45.
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 Christie Elliott. Log in now to see it as soon as it is available.
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