Partick Thistle's Alan Archibald defends Scottish coaching standards

Partick Thistle manager Alan Archibald
Alan Archibald's achievements in leading Partick Thistle into the top six have been recognised with his nomination for PFA Scotland manager of the year

Partick Thistle manager Alan Archibald points to the procession of coaches coming to Scotland to attain their Uefa licence as proof that the standard of coaching in Scotland is high.

Archibald was responding to comments by his former player Ziggy Gordon that he has learned more in a few months in Poland than in his years in Scotland.

"I don't think he's trying to downgrade the standard here," said the Jags boss.

"I just think he has learned a little bit more abroad."

Jose Mourinho, Costinha, Andre Villas-Boas, Brendan Rodgers, Pedro Caixinha and Alan Shearer are among those who have come to Scotland to sit their Uefa Pro licence over the years.

Archibald, who is on the four-man shortlist for the PFA Scotland manager of the year award, said he had never seen Polish coaches at work so did not know how accurate the Jagiellonia Bialystok defender's comments were.

"I've never been there, so I don't know where he's coming from," said the Jags boss.

"But I think when any player goes abroad, you'll pick something up. Your eyes are opened wide, and you'll learn something a little bit different."

Further, Archibald said the standard of coaching in Scotland was "very good".

He continued: "I think a lot of top coaches come here to do their coaching badges so we must be doing something right.

Brendan Rodgers, Derek McInnes, Alan Archibald and Jim Duffy comprise the PFA Scotland manager of the year shortlist
Brendan Rodgers, Derek McInnes, Alan Archibald and Jim Duffy comprise the PFA Scotland manager of the year shortlist

"As (Celtic manager) Brendan Rodgers says, you get a challenge every week. This has probably been the best season in terms of the challenge, tactically.

"All the managers are now playing different shapes and changing it during games as well, so I think all coaches are tactically very aware and they all do their homework now as well.

"I don't think any team just turns up on a Saturday and says 'right, on you go, go and play'. There's a lot of work going in during the week from every team in the league."

Archibald admitted to being taken aback to be nominated by his peers as Scotland's top manager this season, along with Rodgers, Aberdeen's Derek McInnes and Morton's Jim Duffy.

"I think (I'm surprised) just because we've not won anything," said the manager, whose team reached the Premiership's top six for the first time.

"Brendan's won trophies, Derek's been to semi-finals and finals and so has Jim.

"We are sixth and sometimes from the outside people don't know how hard you work, or what it takes to get there.

"Making the top six is huge to a club like ours, and sometimes it's as good as winning a trophy."

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