Tuesday 14th August, 2012 at 8:48pm
It is difficult to find the words to describe the 90 minutes of football that took place at Hampden Park earlier this evening. As one, fairly high profile, manager famously once said “football, bloody hell.”
Once the dust had settled on Thistle’s 5-4 win Thistle manager Jackie McNamara spoke to [link:HOME] and to say that he had the air of a relieved man would be an understatement.
“We’d have lost that game last season. We would have lost it mentally after they went 4-3 ahead. At least tonight they kept going.”
Did Jackie think that we were on our way out when Ricky Little thundered home that free kick with time rapidly running out?
“No. I thought that we still get chances before the end of the game. We have plenty of chances throughout the game whereas everything that Queen’s Park hit, bar one effort that Stuart Bannigan cleared, seemed to end up in the back of the net. The goals that we lost were disappointing. The first goal was a great strike, you can’t take anything away from that, but the others were poor goals to lose. I was delighted though with the way the players responded every time, even when they went 4-3 down so late in the game.”
The manager continued;
“I think it showed tonight that there wasn’t a lot of experience in the side. The oldest out there was Paul Paton and we had three 19 year olds in the side and another five or six who around the 21 age mark. That lack of experience showed at times in terms of organising things and talking. Organising set pieces was proving to be a bit of a problem with people unsure who was picking up who and watching from the side I didn’t hear many voices organising things. Obviously that would have been different if Alan Archibald had been out there. In fact I took away the spine of the team today and that showed at times. As well as Alan Archibald we left out Scott Fox, Hugh Murray and Kris Doolan. It was a bit of a gamble leaving those players out but we still had just enough to get through.”
Thistle also lost the services of Sean Welsh fairly early on in the game and the manager was able to provide us with an update on Sean’s condition.
“We thought that it was a horrendous challenge but hopefully he has a wee chance of playing at Dunfermline on Saturday. He’s going to need a few stitches and we have to hope that his eye doesn’t close over. He’s got a stud mark down the side of his cheek, in fact you can see the blade marks. It was a right nasty one that he got.”