THE vote of confidence from a chairman to his manager is usually a sign that the writing is on the wall.

That is not the case for Alan Archibald, however, with the interim Partick Thistle boss given time to prove himself and claim the vacant Jags job.

The departure of Jackie McNamara and Simon Donnelly to Dundee United could scarcely have come at a worse time for the Irn-Bru First Division title challengers and it is their captain who has been asked to steady the ship.

It has been a choppy start so far for the Jags stalwart, with his dugout debut twice delayed as successive league fixtures against Cowdenbeath and Raith Rovers were postponed.

The Firhill hierarchy have begun the process of sifting through the applications for the Thistle hotseat but are happy to bide their time in the knowledge they already have a safe pair of hands in situ.

"Archie has got the support of the players, he has got the support of the fans," chairman David Beattie told SportTimes.

"We took a risk with Jackie so why don't we give Archie a chance just now? We will see how it pans out.

"We are not going to put a timescale on it. I don't think it would be fair to say 'prove yourself in two weeks' or 'prove yourself in a month'.

"It will be dependant on how things go and how the team gels. I think Archie is up for it, although it is a big change for him. There is no time frame on it though.

"We won't just base our decision on the next few games. Ideally Archie would be the man but we want to be fair to everybody else that has applied for the position and go through the process.

"The players certainly want him and I think the fans would want him. He has been a stalwart for the club over the years."

HAVING undoubtedly made the right call to name McNamara as Ian McCall's successor 18 months ago, Beattie and his board know they must now follow up that success.

Former Hull City boss Phil Brown has already made his public pitch for the job while managers young and old from across the football spectrum have applied for the position.

The huge number of candidates will be whittled down as the search narrows and Beattie is delighted by the calibre of those interested parties.

He said: "We are going to go through a natural interview process, like we did with Jackie.

"When we offered Jackie the job we went through an interview process and we will do the same this time. That is only fair to Archie and to the applicants that we have had.

"It has been quite overwhelming the number of applications we have had. I think it is a very attractive position. We have a chance to win the league and the cup this season.

"The timing of it is not ideal, especially with the amount of postponements and games in a short space of time. That will either gel everyone together and get a bit of momentum or it will have the opposite affect.

"There are probably about a dozen people and then what we will do is do a bit of research on these people looking at what kind of people they are, what they have done before, do they fit the club and all that sort of stuff and we will do the same for Archie as well. He is obviously an easier one to profile.

"The disruption factor is an issue for us. The team are really up for it this season and just because we have lost a manager doesn't mean we are a bad team, we have still got the same players.

"Continuity is important for us and that is why Archie has been put in charge just now. He knows how we play, he has got huge respect at the club."

NO matter who is named as the new Jags boss, the immediate goal will remain the same as they look to overhaul Morton at the top of the First Division and bid for Ramsdens Cup glory against Queen of the South in April.

Silverware is firmly in Thistle's sights but the Jags are also looking at the bigger picture.

Beattie said: "We have taken a lot of hard decisions over the last four years on the finances of the club.

"We decided 18 months ago to appoint Jackie and develop a youth system at the club. We have started that process.

"It is not just a case of appointing a manager and saying 'go and win us the league'. It is about the style of football we play, the development of youth players and the culture of the club."