Scottish Premiership - Archibald puts emphasis on defence

Partick boss Alan Archibald wants defenders Stephen O'Donnell and Aaron Taylor-Sinclair to rein in their attacking instincts and help stiffen up the Jags' leaky back-line.

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Scottish Premiership - Archibald puts emphasis on defence
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Alan Archibald is looking for Partick to tighten their defence

Thistle have been praised for their fluid football since winning promotion back to the Scottish Premiership this season.

But the Firhill men have shipped nine goals in their last three games and Archibald admits that sometimes their overlapping full-backs leave them vulnerable.

He said: "A lot gets made of us having to pass the ball but that's just the way we play. It's not a case that must do it. It's the way the boys want to play.

"But I'd rather not be as open, believe it or not. We are open because our full-backs go and attack. They have always been like that.

"It is a good thing and I enjoy watching them. However, now and again we want to encourage them not to go until we are in safe possession of the ball."

O'Donnell will be missing from the Partick side that heads to Tannadice on Saturday as the Glasgow outfit take on Dundee United.

He was sent off in the 3-0 defeat to St Mirren in their last outing a fortnight ago after picking up two cautions.

That defeat was their third in a row and left Archibald looking at a run of eight Premiership games that included just one victory.

But the Maryhill boss insists he is not worried by the statistics.

He said: "The run we're on concerns us all the time when people [in the press] make these stats up. I know the stats are there, but you can whip them up another way and say this was a draw and that was a draw.

"Stats are stats and you can make them sound whatever way you want.

"As manager, though, you can't hide from it. I know we need to start winning games. Yeah we play nice football but we need to win games.

"At the start of the season, we didn't get too positive with it when we started well and we won't go the other way now."

Also missing the trip to Tayside is Gary Fraser after the on-loan Bolton midfielder was handed an extra seven game ban when he was found guilty of seizing Dunfermline's Chris Kane, causing him to fall to the ground and kicking him repeatedly on the head and body during an under-20s match.

Fraser has already served an automatic two-match for being sent off in the game but will not return to action until three days before his loan stint ends on January 4.

Archibald is keen to see that agreement extended but said no deal had yet been struck with Wanderers boss Dougie Freedman.

"We are no further forward with that," admitted the Thistle manager. "We have not spoken to Bolton about it but we have got time on our side with that one. We have until the first week in January before we need to sort that."

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