Partick Thistle’s Alan Archibald bids to remove fear factor

Partick Thistle manager Alan Archibald says: When good teams smell fear they exploit it."
Partick Thistle manager Alan Archibald says: When good teams smell fear they exploit it."
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Partick Thistle manager Alan Archibald has told his players to take the fear out of their game and enjoy their first top-six experience.

Thistle took a point against Hearts in their first match since the split before suffering narrow defeats by Rangers and St Johnstone, but were then thrashed 5-0 at home by champions Celtic.

Archibald, pictured, admitted he was learning himself about how to set his team up against the top sides, but he wants his players to improve when they close their season against Aberdeen at Firhill today.

Archibald said: “When good teams smell fear they exploit it, and they (Celtic) did in every department.

“There looked a real fear in the first 25 minutes. Some of our lads looked terrified.

“I said that to the lads; you want to get to the top six so you can play with a pressure and a carefree attitude in a good way. We didn’t do that, we looked really terrified and that was the big disappointment.

“I’m learning about the players now. We’ve not been in this position before as a staff and as a squad, so I’m learning as well.

“I’m learning in terms of the personnel we pick against Celtic again. You see that sometimes you have got to go with work and energy because they are miles ahead in a lot of departments.

“You have got to make sure you compete and win individual battles and make it ugly at times. You maybe can’t go with the 
flair. But we are learning all the time about the players and the players are learning as well.

“We’ve got here and we’ve got to go and perform at times, and we have not done that.”

The Jags boss, whose team will definitely finish in sixth place, added: “I said to the players, we’re playing in front of our own fans. I know it didn’t feel like that because there were 5,000 Celtic fans in, but we’ve got to make sure we put on a show in front of our fans. They’ve paid their hard-earned money.

“We want them to enjoy Sunday as well. We will try and regroup and get a side out that is good enough to get three points against Aberdeen.”