Partick Thistle: Alan Archibald eager to 'start looking up' the table

By Amy MacBeathBBC Sport Scotland
Robbie Muirhead and Callum Booth celebrate
Partick Thistle thumped Kilmarnock 5-2 in their last league fixture

Partick Thistle boss Alan Archibald sees Saturday's clash with Dundee United as a chance to pull away from the foot of the Premiership table.

Thistle were unbeaten last month, and are eight points clear of bottom side United in ninth place.

"It's a great chance for us to start looking up the way," said Archibald.

"We know the downside - if we don't get a victory we could end up second bottom. It's a chance to pull a bigger gap away from them."

Archibald picked up the manager of the month award for November, while his former team have struggled all season.

However, he told BBC Scotland he is not underestimating Tangerines boss Mixu Paatelainen, and what United may have in store for them, having watched them draw with Kilmarnock last weekend - a team Thistle dispatched 5-2 in their last league outing.

Archibald takes faith from the sides' previous meeting where Thistle emerged 3-0 victors - the game he claims kick-started their upturn in fortunes.

"It was a different formation, a totally different side to what we faced a few weeks back," he added.

"Getting that victory the last time gave us a real boost in confidence, and since then we've built up a good bit of momentum."

He stated that Partick have worked hard on putting the ball in the net, something which caused them major problems earlier in the season.

"Obviously we couldn't score goals and that was the main worry, so we focussed on that a lot and we've got a bit of reward from that now," continued Archibald.

"We've got competition up there with [Mathias] Pogba and [Kris] Doolan as well, and other people are chipping in with goals and that was the big basis of our success last year - staying the league and finishing eighth - was goals from all over the pitch, from different areas and we've got that over the last few games which is pleasing."

Earlier this week Partick Thistle announced that they have become debt free, thanks to new shareholders.

They revealed that lottery winners Colin and Christine Weir, who became the UK's biggest-ever jackpot winners when they scooped £161m in 2011, have invested in the Maryhill club.

They each now hold 5%, with an additional 19.28% of shares gifted to the newly established Partick Thistle Football Club Trust.

And a clean economic slate has been welcomed by the manager.

"It's a good foundation to build on for the club, we're in a good place financially, probably the best we've been for a number of years," said Archibald.

"It's great for the club but it probably doesn't change my situation a lot, as in finance to bring players in.

"We'll still work on a tight budget and with the numbers that come in the door, we can only work on that and what we've got coming in."