Septet on shopping list for Archie to address Thistle strike problem

ALAN ARCHIBALD has compiled a seven-strong strike target list ahead of January's transfer window.

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Alan Archibald hopes goals can be spread throughout the team
Alan Archibald hopes goals can be spread throughout the team

The Partick Thistle boss has looked on in frustration as his side have failed to fire at home, scoring only three goals in seven Firhill fixtures and failing to win any of the SPFL Premiership outings on their own turf.

Of these three goals, two were scored by Aaron Muirhead from the penalty spot in the draws with Hearts and Kilmarnock.

Top scorer Kris Doolan, who has six strikes this term, got the other, from open play, in the 2-1 defeat by Celtic back on October 27.

Ahead of today's visit of St Johnstone, Thistle have failed to find the net in either of their last two Firhill bows in league and cup encounters.

Boasting an overall Premiership goal difference of minus 12, it is no surprise that Archie's New Year wish list is topped by a new frontman.

The Thistle gaffer said: "We know that we badly need to add a new striker and we have six or seven targets and will need that in order to get one in during the window.

"January is a tough time to recruit because you only tend to get someone in if the club they are at are able to recruit satisfactorily.

"But clearly we only have Kris Doolan and John Baird as recognised out-and-out strikers and we need another one in, at least. So we are working away behind the scenes and trying our best to get something lined up for the window."

As he looked forward to this afternoon's visit of St Johnstone, Archie issued a rallying call to the rest of his troops to start chipping in with some much-needed goals.

The Jags boss said: "We desperately need to start getting a spread of goals throughout the team. We need centre-backs getting on the end of set-plays. When we have the ball out wide we need more bodies in the box to help out Kris Doolan.

"To be fair there are three other players who should be supporting him but sometimes that has not worked as we would have liked. But the bottom line is that everyone has to take a share of the responsibility for us getting more goals."

Jags do not have their troubles to seek with injuries. Stephen O'Donnell, Sean Welsh, Kallum Higginbotham, Stevie Lawless and the suspended Gary Fraser are all likely to be missing.

In Thistle's last home league bow it was fascinating to observe a St Mirren side renowned for playing an attacking brand of passing football sit in and let Jags try and break them down.

Today's visit from the Perth Saints will provide further proof of whether that is likely to be the case when most teams come calling at Firhill.

Archie said: "I guess it is a back-handed compliment to us that teams are sitting in. Clearly St Mirren came with a game plan last time around but I don't know that St Johnstone will do the same.

"What I do know is that we have to start picking up points at home. If we can turn our home form around then we will be fine but we know that it is something we must get sorted and get sorted quickly.

"Although we were disappointed to get pegged back by Hibs in the 93rd minute last week, it was still a decent point from Easter Road. It has given us a good platform into this game with St Johnstone.

"If we can get a win today and get the monkey off our back at home, that point would prove to be a very valuable one."


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