St Johnstone 1-2 Partick Thistle: Archibald gets desired reaction

By Martin DowdenBBC Scotland at McDiarmid Park

Manager Alan Archibald revealed he got the reaction he was looking for as Partick Thistle beat St Johnstone 2-1.

The Firhill side went into Wednesday's match three points clear of 11th place after defeat by Motherwell, albeit with games in hand.

"We were really poor on all accounts against Motherwell," said Archibald. "Motherwell were hungrier and had more desire than us and we lacked that.

"I thought we showed that tonight and matched it with some great football."

Archibald was thrilled by the result and quality of performance, particularly in the opening half when his side capitalised on some fine football through goals by Callum Booth and Steven Lawless.

"We asked the lads for a reaction and I thought we got that," Archibald told BBC Scotland.

Partick Thistle manager Alan Archibald
Archibald is pleased his side have picked up points from games in hand

"Fantastic goals. Callum Booth popped up and we asked the lads to get goals from other areas, not just rely on our striker.

"[Mathias] Pogba did magnificent tonight; his link-up play getting us up the pitch and allowing other guys to play. Delighted with our overall performance."

'We've not done anything yet'

Archibald's side are now seventh in the Scottish Premiership and six points clear of Kilmarnock, who occupy the relegation play-off place.

"It's a great victory," Archibald said. "We said to the lads we can take something from these midweek games. We know we've got a real tough run of fixtures now, the top three in the league coming up.

"It gives us great confidence going into those games. We know how crazy the league is and everybody's dropping points at different stages.

"If we concentrate on getting away from that bottom area of the table we'll creep up without knowing it. We'll build from there.

"In the last couple of years we've stayed up and hopefully we'll go and do it again this year. That's our aim at the start of the season. We're not getting ahead of ourselves, we've not done anything yet."

It was a frustrating night for St Johnstone following a creditable 1-1 draw with Aberdeen at Pittodrie last time out.

They drop to sixth with their top-six hopes still very much alive but more fragile than they might have expected.

"We lost a game that we went into with a lot of confidence," said manager Tommy Wright.

Interviews - Wright and Archibald

"First four, five minutes were alright but if you don't make tackles and allow shots from the edge of the box, we found ourselves 2-0 down.

"Two moments of lapse of concentration, we end up 2-0 down and an uphill task.

"We can't keep conceding the first goal and early goals, which has been an Achilles heel all season.

"Particularly second-half I thought we dominated it and there wasn't much between the two sides. We've got to look at ourselves, we didn't defend.

"I think we had a lot of opportunities. We didn't work the keeper. The first early cross we put in we get a goal [from Chris Kane]. We're guilty of wrong decisions at times in the last third because I think we've dominated possession."

The home support did seem angry at what they witnessed, perhaps as a result of a poor run of form after success over the past few seasons.

"Listen, these fans have had four unbelievable years," added Wright.

"There's a wee blip at the minute and they do show their frustration. If we go and win Wednesday night [against Inverness] they'll be back cheering you on again.

"I'll defend my players. We're still in the top six, but we know we're on a bad run but we'll get better.

"We've conceded too many goals all season and that's killing us. Individually we've made too many mistakes over the season."

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