Thursday 1st February, 2018 at 9:33am
Having had eight games in December the winter break came at the right time for Alan Archibald and his players. The combination of a week off and a week in Spain, for some much needed warm weather training, saw the Jags return refreshed, revitalised and ready for the all-important January return to action.
The break also gave Archibald a chance to get some of his injured players back to full fitness and the increase in available options certainly showed as the first month of 2018 proved to be a positive one for Thistle.
A victory in a tough William Hill Scottish Cup tie away to Queen of the South was followed by a strong display at home to Celtic that really deserved at least a point. The month was then rounded off with one of the best performances so far this season as the Thistle put St Johnstone to the sword in a convincing 3-1 victory at MacDiarmid Park.
So, without further ado, it’s time to have your say on who the Jags’ best performer has been this month as the vote for the McCrea Financial Services January Player of the Month award opens.
Here are your nominees and voting options:
Baily signed for the club just hours ahead of the match against Celtic which is probably a mark of just how much he has impressed in his two games as a Jag. Having trained just once ahead of taking on the Scottish champions, the on loan Bournemouth man put in an incredibly assured performance and was part of a team that really deserved at least a draw from the match. The 22-year-old then went on to put in another excellent display to ensure that the only way St Johnstone could get a goal was from the penalty spot.
If Baily continues his early form, it’s fair to say this will not be his last nomination.
One of several players Archibald has returning from the treatment room, Abdul looked like he had never been away when he returned to competitive action against Queen of the South in the last round of the William Hill Scottish Cup. As club captain, Abdul brings a calmness to the Jags midfield that has been missing at times this season. More than that though, he is a natural leader and his combative style gives the attacking players the platform they need to go and hurt teams.
Having the Jags number six back in action will hopefully prove a major turning point in the season for Archibald’s side.
Feed the fish and he will score. That is a phrase that has certainly been proved accurate this month. Is there really much more to say about last month’s winner than four goals in three games? We don’t think so – ‘nuff said.
With pace to burn Miles will always be a handful for any defence and has proved a crucial outlet this month. Breaking down the wing at pace reaped dividends against Celtic as it was Miles who won the penalty which would give the Jags a lead against Celtic for the first time since James Grady struck in the 12th minute at Parkhead in 2003. A very similar move would see Storey turn provider again as he set up Steven Lawless for the opener, in what could prove to be a crucial victory, against St Johnstone on Saturday.
Having formed a formidable partnership with Conor Sammon, it speaks volumes that the pair have largely been able to keep Kris Doolan out of the starting XI this month – a sign if ever there was one that Miles is deserving of a January nomination.
So, there you have it, your McCrea Financial Services Player of the Month nominees for January. Now it’s over to you so get voting and make sure your favourite gets to take the trophy home.
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