It's fitness first for Archibald in Jags' friendly face-offs

ALAN ARCHIBALD insists he won't focus on results during Partick Thistle's pre-season programme.

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Alan Archibald is fine-tuning squad for new season
Alan Archibald is fine-tuning squad for new season

The Jags jetted out to their Spanish training base on Monday and kick off their summer schedule with a friendly against FC Pinatar tonight before squaring up to English side Brighton on Saturday.

A trip to Belfast to play Glentoran on Sunday, July 27, has been added to a schedule that also includes games at Dumbarton and Fleetwood and at home to Sunderland.

And Archibald is eager to use the friendly fixtures to ensure his side are fully up to speed ahead of the big Premiership kick-off.

He said: "It is just about getting fitness and trying a few things out. You want to get everyone some game time and get them all on the pitch.

"We don't look at the results. They didn't matter last year and won't this season.

"Sometimes you are making changes to get people minutes. It is important that, come the start of the season, everyone has got the right amount of game time and minutes under their belts.

"It is not about winning the games. There can be a bit of a feel-good factor before the season starts but I have won pre-season games and lost the first four league games.

"We are travelling to Fleetwood and the Sunderland side will come up and give us a test.

"It is a chance for us to get on Firhill as well. We wanted to get at least one home game.

"Last year we had the Limassol match and a closed door game and it got the new players a feel of the pitch and stadium."

With Thistle's top flight opener against Ross County just a month away, Archibald has stepped up his preparations as he puts his squad through their paces on the Continent.

After a successful first season in the Premiership, it is a matter of fine-tuning rather than a drastic overhaul that is needed and the Jags boss is confident their hard work in the coming weeks will pay dividends.

Archibald said: "I think players can pick things up quite quickly. The ideal time to do it is in pre-season. That is when you want to make all the errors.

"The players don't want to come off the pitch thinking, 'there was no clarity there'.

"He needs to know what he should be doing, where he should be and what you are looking for from him in every situation.

"In the formations we play, whether it is 4-3-3 or 4-2-3-1, we are well versed and the players have grasped them.

"If we want to change it any other way, it can be different for them and we will work on things we want to improve on."


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