Partick Thistle manager Alan Archibald is relieved that it won’t be him that goes up against Motherwell’s red-hot striker Louis Moult at the weekend, but he has faith that his defenders are up to the task.

Moult has hit nine goals already this season after hitting 18 in each of his two previous campaigns at Fir Park.

But while Archibald has respect for the player, he believes that Thistle can overcome Moult and his teammates by focusing on what they do best when the teams meet this Saturday.

“I don’t know if I could [deal with him], he’s a bit of a handful,” Archibald said. “It comes down to stopping the supply into him, they’re not just a one-man team.

“They play to their strengths and they get it into him early, and we just have to make sure we are aware of that.

“I don’t want to get caught up too much in talking about Louis Moult, but as long as we make them aware of the danger.

“They have one of the best strikers in the league and he’s in really good form.

“From middle to front we’ve being doing ok as well though and scoring goals, so we’ve got to make sure we play to our strengths and we don’t change our game too much.”

The Motherwell match represents the first in a run of games that Archibald sees as critical to their chances of success this season, coming against teams he expects will finish around Thistle in the table.

And he admits that there is more pressure on these fixtures than on the games against the bigger sides in the division.

“We’re coming into a period where we need to get a run of victories, there’s no hiding away from that,” he said.

“I’m aware of that pressure and the players are too, but I wouldn’t say there is any anxiety creeping in yet.

“They are enjoying playing, and I think you can see that we have had an attacking set-up in the last four or five games and have been going out to win them. That’s what we’ll keep doing.

“We asked the players to go and build on the draw at Ross County and they certainly have. I think the performances have got better all the time.

“We’re getting stronger, but we just need to find that right balance to get that victory, and make sure we keep the back door closed while being a threat going forward.”

Archibald has sympathy meanwhile for deposed Ross County manager Jim McIntyre, and is all too aware that even his own job isn’t immune to the precarious nature of the game.

“I played with Jim and I feel for him,” he said. “He worked wonders at the club and he’s got a fantastic record. You see how quickly things can change for a manager.

“The biggest example of that for any football manager was when you saw what happened to Claudio Ranieri. After that, everybody knows they’re not safe in a job for any length of time.

“We know the job we’re in can be very precarious, but you’ve just got to deal with the pressures as best you can and hopefully win enough games to keep you in a job.”