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Match Reaction

St Johnstone v Partick Thistle – 27th January 2018

The first half of the season was tough for Partick Thistle but things seem to have turned a corner for the Jags. Five wins from six home league games to end 2017 guided Thistle off the foot of the Ladbrokes Premiership and they have now secured their first away league win of the season. A 3-1 win at McDiarmid Park was the reward for a Jags side who did plenty of work during the game. Goals from Steven Lawless, Conor Sammon and Ryan Edwards saw the away side claim the three points to move them six points clear of Ross County in 12th place with the Staggies still to play this weekend. Jags boss, Alan Archibald spoke to following the game.

Archie started by praising the team’s performance as he believes they deserved the points over 90 minutes.

“I thought we started very well. We looked hungry, we looked up for it and that’s always the first step. We had spoken about catching St. Johnstone out because they haven’t played since the end of last year and I thought we found some success in doing that. Everyone knows that the first goal is vital in this fixture so to get it early on was good and it was a well-worked goal. Miles Storey did excellently to create the opportunity and then Steven Lawless finished it well.”

The manager then spoke of the importance of winning in the Premiership away from home. After so long without a win away from home in the league, Alan hopes the squad can now start to pick up more points on the road.

“That was obviously the big problem in the first half of the season. If you want to survive in this league, you have to get results at home and away but it’s difficult to pinpoint what the problem has been exactly. McDiarmid Park tends to be a difficult place to come but they haven’t been great here recently so we came with confidence and I thought that showed. The key is now that we build on this and make sure that this isn’t a one off.”

The gaffer then spoke about his squad. The Jags were plagued with injuries in the first half of the season and were often unable to fill the bench. Today, now only did they have the full seven substitutes but Archibald had to leave three fit players out of the first team squad.

“It was a really tough team to pick today. Having played on Tuesday, I felt that we needed to freshen things up which is why we made five changes. It was maybe a bit unfair to leave Andy McCarthy and James Penrice in the stands but that just shows the strength of the squad at the moment. Having the strong bench doesn’t just give us more options for the starting XI, but it makes it easier for us to see out games. Being able to bring Adam Barton and Ryan Edwards on is brilliant as it lets us adapt to the situations that present themselves.”

Archibald then complimented Conor Sammon who grabbed his fifth goal in four games as Thistle secured victory and he’s been a big part of the Jags’ upturn in form.

“I think the key for Conor has been regular starts. None of our strikers have really had a sustained period of starting games so I think the goals have come with that consistency. He’s scoring goals now but he’s also a handful for the opposition which can help take the pressure off us in tense games. It was his battling that lead to the third goal and that’s what we ask of him. He’s a great professional and it’s good to see him hitting form.”

Thistle now start preparations for another away trip as the Jags take on Motherwell. Kick-off is 15:00 from Fir Park next Saturday.

A more in depth video interview with Alan Archibald is available now to Jagzone subscribers and will be followed by reaction from Baily Cargill and Ryan Edwards. Log in now to see it as soon as it is available.

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