By Scott Paterson
The fortnight off before our next SPFL Premiership fixture at Motherwell has come at exactly the right time for us.
We are delighted with the acquisitions we have made during the January transfer window.
Although ultimately we felt we should have had all three points from our league game with Dundee United at Firhill on Saturday, we will take the point and a very positive performance into our break and look to build on all of that upon our return at Motherwell a week on Saturday.
Archie (Alan Archibald) and I have urged the lads to get away for a few days, just to take their mind away from football and look to recharge their batteries.
The big disappointment from our game with United was that we have still not managed to get that first home victory of the league season. When we looked at the tape of the game it was clear we had more than enough opportunities to take all three points.
Strangely it was one of these ones, that when we viewed the game from the dugout, especially in the first half, we felt we could have done a lot more. But reviewing the tape on Monday provided us with a completely different perspective of the game, especially before the break.
We created some great chances and on another day Lyle Taylor may have had two and then, from one of our forways forward, United hit us so hard on the counter and took the lead.
But I felt that we showed a lot of character in the way we responded to that setback after the interval. What was particularly pleasing was the way some of our new lads contributed to that response.
We were really pleased to get Prince Buaben in the window. Although he had only one training session under his belt with us, I thought as the game wore on he really grew into it. I am confident he will be a big player for us going forward.
Gary Fraser has come back into our plans and I thought he was immense. For one so young he bossed midfield, his distribution was first class and he was just hugely influential. Gary must now use the United game as his benchmark.
Obviously a lot has been made of the fact we have gone with just one up front until this point. That is largely because we felt we did not have the personnel across the board to use the two-man attack but now I think we are in a far healthier position to do so.
It has been tough for Kris Doolan to have shouldered so much work and responsibility up top on his lonesome and then with Taylor coming in he has had to drop to the bench.
But Dools came on in the second half and he and Lyle showed promise as a combination and I think we are now in a position to make the most of that option.
Young George Moncur, who we have taken from West Ham United, didn’t feature against United. But he had a run out with the under-20s at Lennoxtown against Celtic and he was bright on the ball, neat and tidy and I am confident he will make a big impact over the remainder of the season.
So we go into our break in positive mood and very pleased that we have strengthened our squad in the window, increased our options throughout the team and given ourselves a real platform to kick on when we get it on at Motherwell next time out.