Partick Thistle need to find quality - Alan Archibald

Martin Woods (right) closes down Partick's Sean Welsh during the Scottish Premiership clash
Martin Woods (right) closes down Partick's Sean Welsh during the Scottish Premiership clash

Alan Archibald insists he cannot fault his Partick Thistle players for determination and commitment after their 1-0 defeat to Ross County.

However, he says they must find the quality to go with it if the club are to climb off the bottom of the league.

The Jags are without a single win in nine games in total this season.

"It's a tough run that we are on at the minute but we have got to keep going to get ourselves out of it," Archibald told BBC Scotland.

"You saw towards the end that they kept on going, trying to get that elusive goal, and fair play to them for that.

"It's encouraging that we are not losing a lot of goals but it doesn't make it any better as we are still bottom of the league.

"A small gap has started to open up at the foot as well now so we need to get back to winning ways and get the goal to take the pressure off the guys."

The 1-0 defeat at Dingwall means Thistle have now gone 462 minutes without scoring a goal while overall it is just two in 13-and-a-half hours of competitive football.

Ironically, it took two good saves by former Thistle goalkeeper Scott Fox to make sure that dismal record stayed intact after a match of very few chances from either side.

Steven Lawless also hooked a shot over the bar in stoppage time and that lack of punch is obviously worrying for their manager with a visit to Fir Park next.

Liam Boyce (left) scored the only goal of the game for Ross County
Liam Boyce (left) scored the only goal of the game for Ross County

He is looking at bringing in free agents to try to add a creative spark to the team but insists they are in a real battle to turn that poor run around.

Archibald said: "It was a frustrating afternoon as I think it's fair to say that there wasn't a lot in the game.

"We lost a terrible goal defensively but I don't think County created a lot.

"The way the things are going it's important for us to get the first goal and we didn't get it.

"We are still trying to bring in players, not just up front but in other areas of the pitch as well."

By contrast Ross County now have as many points on the board in mid-September this time round as they did on St Valentine's Day last season.

Liam Boyce (centre) is congratulated after giving Ross County the lead
Liam Boyce (centre) is congratulated after giving Ross County the lead

County manager Jim McIntyre admits it was not his team's best performance of the season, but was delighted to get the win to strengthen their place in the top four.

He said: "We didn't play all that well today but there are all sorts of ways to win a match and that showed the character of the players they way they did it.

"I'm delighted to see the job through because from our position a year ago I know what Thistle are going through right now and how hard they will be fighting to change it.

"There's not much between the teams and we knew they would be very determined in how they approached things so it was an important win for us.

"We have had a lot of injuries to deal with this week so it's pleasing, but the objectives stay the same as we were always after a top six place this season.

"We made no secret of that but while a few wins can move you up the league and few defeats can move you just as quickly the other way."

McIntyre is still looking to strengthen his own striking options and Dutch striker Alex Schalk, the former NEC Breda and Go Ahead Eagles player, will be returning next week to continue his trial period.

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