Mid-term report: Partick Thistle endure crawling start

Alan Archibald's side have started to put some form together. Picture: SNS

Alan Archibald's side have started to put some form together. Picture: SNS

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Partick Thistle couldn’t buy a goal in the opening months of the season, though things are beginning to turnaround, as Craig Fowler explains

Attack

With 12 league goals, only Motherwell and Dundee United (each with 11) have scored less. Thistle have struggled to get over the loss of Kallum Higginbotham and Lyle Taylor in the summer, though there has been a improvement since failing to find the back of the net in all but one of their first nine games.

Kris Doolan has been in and out of the line-up with manager Alan Archibald undecided whether the fans favourite or new signing Mathias Pogba gives his side a greater advantage. Two of last season’s better performers, Ryan Stevenson and Steven Lawless, have yet to hit top form, while summer signing David Amoo has largely flattered to deceive.

The signing of Mustapha Dumbuya and his supportive runs from full-back have given the attack a new dimension in recent weeks.

Defence

Injuries to Dan Seaborne and Frederic Frans have meant the Thistle back four has lacked continuity, which rustiness perhaps leading to both players being guilty of individual errors. Fans have been impressed by the performances of Liam Lindsay when the young centre back has deputised.

The biggest positive from the Thistle rearguard has been the play of ‘keeper Tomas Cerny who has been one of the league’s star performers at his position.

Star player

Dumbuya came into the line-up in place of the disappointing Gary Miller, breathing new life into the starting XI.

He’s not yet at the level of Stephen O’Donnell, another summer defector, but Thistle have always been at their best in recent seasons when the full-backs have contributed as much going forward as they have in defence. Dumbuya certainly does that.

Manager

A section of supporters have begun to get a little restless with the club having failed to progress beyond the role of bottom half scrappers in their three seasons back in the top flight. However, the majority understand the financial limitations and still believe Archibald has enough credit in the bank to be given time to secure Thistle’s top flight status once more.

Some of the summer signings have not hit the mark, but if some of the core players from last season’s success start performing then Thistle could begin to climb up the table.

He does, however, need to build a coherent plan in attack and give it time to gel together.

Must do better

Thistle have dropped six points by conceding goals after the 75th minute of games. They cannot afford to let such a trend continue as they look set to battle for their Ladbrokes Premiership safety.

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