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Partick Thistle FC
Partick Thistle FC
Match Reaction

St Johnstone V Partick Thistle – 11th February 2017

Alan Archibald’s Partick Thistle side booked their place in the William Hill Scottish Cup quarter-finals for the first time since 2008 with a win against St. Johnstone on Saturday. The Jags struck early when Adam Barton slotted past Zander Clark in the seventh minute. That would prove to be the game’s only goal as the Jags won their first game since the last outing in the cup clash against Formartine. After the match Jags boss, Alan Archibald, spoke with to reflect on a good afternoon for the club.

“I’m delighted for the players and for the fans. Our supporters came in good numbers today and thankfully, they kept believing because it’s been a long time since we made the quarters.”

Thistle’s goal came through Adam Barton, a man who has scored just once before for Partick Thistle prior to today’s game so even the gaffer was surprised that the big midfielder was the one storming into the box to complete an attacking move and put the team ahead.

“We had asked him to do a job in the game. Obviously we had to shuffle things around a bit as we had no full backs available. We said to Adam and Abdul Osman that they should get forward when possible and I was glad to see the ball hit the net as their ‘keeper has played well against us before.”

The Thistle boss was also pleased to continue his side’s impressive recent record at McDiarmid Park.

“It’s a strange one. This season, they’ve won twice at Firhill and we’ve won the two games here. In both our wins we’ve scored an early goal which I think boosts our confidence, especially on a day like today when we’ve had to play a different shape with players playing out of position.”

Archibald was also happy to see his team close the game out, despite missing some chances to double the lead, seemingly shaking off their early season habit of conceding late when ahead or level.

“I’ve seen on a number of occasions that St. Johnstone can create chances late and they did that today. They had a couple of decent opportunities near the end of the game but luckily our missed chance didn’t come back to haunt us.”

Archie was keen to compliment his midfield unit who did a good job of controlling possession despite an unfamiliar set-up.

“We had a lot of players out so it was all about reshuffling. It’s something that we’ve worked on in training this week. I asked the lads to fill the spaces when we didn’t have the ball we did that excellently today but I think scoring the first goal helped us, it calmed us down which helped our passing.”

The manager was also complimentary of his side’s disciplined performance which helped as they closed out the game.

“That’s all down to them. They’ve taken the advice we gave them on board and applied it in the game. We had two or three guys who only trained for two days so it’s to their credit that they were able to turn it into a performance.”

The gaffer says that no matter who Thistle are drawn against and wherever they have to travel, they’ll be ready to continue their quest for cup glory.

“I think home ties are always special later on in the competition. It gives the game a better feel for the home side but we’re just glad to be in the quarter-finals so we’ll take whoever we get. Most importantly, we’ll try to enjoy it and keep this run going as long as we possibly can.”

Thistle now anxiously await the William Hill Scottish Cup quarter-final draw which takes place tomorrow following the conclusion of Morton’s clash with Rangers. The draw will determine who the Jags must beat to reach their first Scottish Cup semi-final since 2002. The Firhill side’s next match comes against Hamilton in an important bottom six clash. That game kicks off at 3:00 next Saturday, the 18th of February.

A more in depth video interview with Alan Archibald is available now to Jagzone subscribers and will be followed by reaction from Sean Welsh and Steven Lawless. Log in now to see it as soon as it is available.

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