Beattie: Archibald was right man for Jags job

IT was never going to be the dreaded vote of confidence.

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Looking forward...David Beattie is convinced Jags can consolidate their Premiership status
Looking forward...David Beattie is convinced Jags can consolidate their Premiership status

The words of backing from a chairman to a manager are usually followed by an announcement that there has been a parting of the ways, but that wasn't going to be the case at Firhill.

Just hours before Partick Thistle finally ended their barren home run with a 3-1 win over Aberdeen in February, Jags chairman David Beattie re-affirmed his commitment to boss Alan Archibald.

At that stage, Thistle had not won on home soil in the Premiership and their status as a top-flight club was far from secure but, a couple of months, a couple of wins, and a dramatic finale later, Beattie's faith has been repaid.

Archibald has made the transition from player to manager in some style, leading his side to the First Division title and then ensuring they would get another shot at the Premiership next time out.

He is set to be rewarded with a new contract and Beattie has hailed the man who has transformed Thistle's fortunes in the space of a few months as they look forward to a bright future.

"Archie has surpassed the expectations we had," he told SportTimes.

"It has been a massive learning curve for him. We took a while to make the decision last season, but I think that was the right thing to do.

"We wanted to be sure for the football club, but sure it was right for Archie as well.

"He is a fantastic manager and, no matter what happened this season, he would be the manager next season.

"We never thought about changing manager or doubted him, not for a second. We knew how hard him and Scott Paterson were working. They travel the length and breadth of Scotland watching games and really work hard.

"With the way he does things, the structure he has, there was never any doubt for us. We knew he was the man for the job. There is no doubt he is.

"He is on a one-year rolling deal so it will be about terms rather than a new contract as such. We are open with Archie about contracts, his expectations, our expectations. I don't see it being anything but beneficial for Archie."

Lifting the First Division crown as boss last season topped anything Archibald had done during his distinguished playing career.

But he went one step better at Tynecastle seven days ago.

Victory over Hearts secured Thistle's place in the Premiership for next season and, while they could not round off the campaign with a win over Ross County that would have seen them finish seventh this term, there are still plenty of reasons to celebrate.

Beattie said: "The game against Hearts was just like winning the league again, only even better. To get over the line and know we were still in the Premiership was fantastic. It was a sense of relief really, for everyone at the club. It allows us now to plan and kick on."

Beattie added: "This year has been such a big learning curve for everyone at the club. We have a better handle on the finances.

"We were quite cautious last year and we will continue to be cautious as a club, but we know better what we can spend and where we can take risks without it being a problem.

"The object this year was to finish tenth. We finished tenth, but could have finished seventh. Next year, we want to finish higher."

It is not just on the field where Thistle are striving for success and improvement, with all areas of the club set to flourish now that top-flight football has been secured once again.

The close season will see more improvement work undertaken at Firhill, more players recruited and more ideas put into action.

Short-term success is required next season for this progress to continue, but Beattie is confident the foundations have been laid right down to grassroots level.

Beattie said: "The ThistleWeir Academy is massive for the club going forward. It is still in its first year, but the progress Gerry Britton and the staff have made is incredible.

"It is going to snowball and will really benefit the club. As a board of directors, we want that to be our legacy. We want to leave something that will progress and improve and, like the club, continue to grow."


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