Saturday 8th November, 2014 at 10:10am
“We’ve played better and lost this season, and last season, but we’ll take the three points”, was manager Alan Archibald’s fairly succinct analysis of a hard fought victory over St Mirren when [link:HOME] spoke to him after the game.
The Thistle manager continued;
“I thought we were off in the first half although I felt that we started brightly. In the first 5 or 10 minutes I thought that we started well but Sean Welsh took a bad one and that affected him and I think affected our whole play. We didn’t get hold of the ball at all and we were happy to go in at half-time at 0-0.”
Alan expanded a little on the knock that Sean picked up.
“I think it gets papered over a little because he’s had a strike at goal but the lad’s follow through takes him right out. He’s got a gash to his ankle and a really bad knock to his knee. My heart goes out to him. He’s been out for a year but we had to take him off at half-time. He wasn’t affecting the game and he knew that himself and it was really disappointing for him.”
Alan went on;
“The other subs came on and make an impact and I felt that the second half was better. We got up with the play and we won second balls. We did the ugly side of the game like we did last week and that allowed us to go on and get the goal.”
It was one of the manager’s substitutes, Declan McDaid, that had a big part to play in the goal.
“Declan has been training with us every day since pre-season and that lad has a wee chance. He has great attributes. He has pace and he can deliver the ball. We’ve been dripping him into the team slowly but surely and we gave him a bit longer today. He had a bit more time today and he made an impact and I was delighted for him. It was a good ball in and it was a good finish from Christie Elliott.”
Alan went on;
“Christie is in a good vein of form at the moment. We are trying to get him to go at players all the time and use the attributes of power and pace that he has and to believe in himself. Scoring in two consecutive games won’t do him any harm and Declan’s impact after coming on won’t do him any harm either. It’s hard for the younger lads. They go and play with the under 20s who lost 6-1 the other night but it is a young, inexperienced 20s side but they are learning all the time.”
Following Hamilton’s late, late equaliser the previous weekend Thistle hearts were in mouths when a late St Mirren effort struck the Thistle crossbar. Like all of us Alan was just a shade anxious and Drury shaped up for his effort at goal.
“You don’t want it to happen again and people think, same old Thistle losing a late goal. Last week it wasn’t down to us dropping deep or bad habits it was just down to bad defending, that’s all it was. It was the same today. You see that shot and you think that’s the way luck has been going for us this season but we got the break today and hopefully we will continue to do so.”
Victory over St Mirren leaves Thistle in a relatively comfortable position in the league table going into the international break and the Thistle manager now has his sights firmly focused on those sides above us.
“That was the frustrating thing about last week. We knew that if we had won that game we could start to look at the sides above us and today’s victory now allows us to do that. The break probably now comes at the wrong time for us but it does allow us to try and get a few injuries to clear up before we start to look forward to the Aberdeen game.”
Finally Alan gave us a little update on the injury situation.
“I’ve no idea how long Sean Welsh might be out for. He’s just getting assessed right now. I certainly hope that he isn’t going to be out for long as the lad simply has no luck at all. As for Kallum Higginbotham he just suffered a little reaction on Tuesday morning when he trained and the surgeon just said to take him out for a couple of days. Hopefully this wee break will give him the chance to get himself back to full fitness.”