Archibald excited to make Partick return despite number two role

The 41-year-old is back at Firhill less than a year after being sacked as manager.

By Press Association Published: 24 September 2019 - 4.23pm

Sport

Football

Scotland

Alan Archibald is relishing the prospect of getting back on the training ground despite admitting it will be strange to assume a less senior role at Partick Thistle.

Archibald has been installed as one of new boss Ian McCall’s assistants, along with Neil Scally, less than a year after being sacked as manager.

The 41-year-old has spent half of his life at Firhill and played under McCall for the Jags and Dundee United, and he admitted his association with both club and colleague enabled him to see past the unusual situation.

And he is also keen to get back to working with the players after the latter stages of his five and a half years in charge became less enjoyable.

Archibald said: “It was strange when Ian mentioned it when he phoned. It took me aback in all honesty
but I have been out the game for almost a year and it’s a chance to get back coaching, with a guy I trust.

“I probably wouldn’t have done it with most other clubs, it’s just because it’s Partick Thistle, and it was Ian.

“I’m delighted to be here and there is a lot of work to be done. We have a good manager in charge, I have worked with him before a couple of times and he’s very, very good.

“It was a bit difficult in terms of it being a totally different role, but the way I see it is you’re a coach, you want to be out on the pitch. It gives me a chance to focus on being a coach.

“When you’re a manager it’s totally different. When I first started you try and do a bit of both but slowly it leans away from that and you end up doing more of the other stuff which isn’t as enjoyable, and you want to be out on the pitch with the players, which is the best bit.”

McCall starts his second reign with the toughest of assignments, at Celtic Park in the Betfred Cup quarter-finals.

With Thistle bottom of the Ladbrokes Championship, McCall has more pressing concerns but wants his players to enjoy the occasion.

“I don’t want the pressure to ever be off when you wear that red and yellow jersey,” McCall said.

“But, listen, it’s a game we could do without. We don’t want to go to Celtic Park and get an absolute chasing and running around and then you’re at Inverness on the Saturday and your legs are a bit sore.

“But it’s there and it’s a quarter-final so the players can look forward to it.”