Saturday 25th April, 2015 at 7:17pm
Having watched his team record a convincing 2-1 victory over a Ross County side that had put together one of the best run of results in European football, Alan Archibald was understandably satisfied with the performance of his side.
“I thought we were very strong from front to back today and we dominated the game for good periods. We started the game really well and were on the front foot from the first whistle. We were disappointed to lose the goal and i think that knocked our confidence a bit and distracted us from our game plan. When the equaliser came you saw us go back to doing what we had done well in the opening periods of the half.”
Both of Thistle’s goals in Dingwall came from defenders, the first a wonder strike from Frederic Frans and the second, itself an excellent effort, coming from Stephen O’Donnell.
“It was fantastic to see the goals coming from defenders and it just shows their desire to get up the field and help the team out. The flip side of that is that it was a bit frustrating not to score more as I felt we created a number of opportunities for our front men and it could have, and maybe should have, been more comfortable.
“One of the things we talked about time and again last season was getting goals from other areas of the pitch and not always relying on our strikers. We’ve done well in that respect this season with goals coming from all over the pitch and players in many different positions. I think Stephen and Freddie both getting on the score sheet today shows that and shows how willing everyone in this squad is to work for each other.
“I’d love to say I’ve seen Freddie do that in training but I’d be lying! It was a fantastic strike and I think as soon as it left his boot we all thought it was in. He’s a popular guy in the dressing room and you could see that in his celebration. We were all delighted for him.”
Much of Ross County’s run has been built on hard work and enterprise and Archie said in his match preview that a big part of today’s result would be decided by Thistle’s ability to match that.
“We spoke about it before the game and said we had to match their work rate. To be fair to the boys they have all put in a great shift today and that is where the result has come from. Winning your first game after the split is always important and that gives us a tremendous platform to build on in the coming games.
“We set ourselves the target of remaining unbeaten after the split last season and managed it until the last game of the season, that will be the objective again and we got off to the perfect start today. That result doesn’t see us completely safe but it does ease the pressure and allows us to focus on catching those above us and finishing as high up the league as possible. There is no doubt that we are looking above us now.”