St Johnstone V Partick at McDiarmid Park : Match Preview

13 May 2017

Goalkeeper Zander Clark relieved to be back in St Johnstone side after injury

St Johnstone goalkeeper Zander Clark is glad to be back between the sticks after fearing he had lost his place to Alan Mannus for the rest of the season.

The 24-year-old had taken over the number one spot from the experienced Northern Ireland international, but had to give up his coveted position due to a hip injury picked up in the 2-1 win over Motherwell at Fir Park on March 18.

Clark missed all of Saints' five games in April before being reinstated for the 4-1 defeat at Celtic Park last weekend.

Ahead of the visit of Partick Thistle on Saturday in the third-last Ladbrokes Premiership game of the campaign, he said: "I'm delighted to be back in the side.

"It was pretty much unexpected but I was glad that I went in and thought I did well.

"It was a long few weeks but when Alan was in he was great, and I knew that if I ever came out of the team it would be hard to get back in.

"When it got to the stage where I was fit enough and Alan was playing, it started to look like that may be it until the end of the season. But I'm thankful I got back in.

"It's not as if (like an outfield player) you can play on the left even if you are a right-sided player. You can only play that position, so you just need to be patient. It's part and parcel of goalkeeping."

Saints will be without suspended skipper Steven Anderson for the clash, while midfielder Murray Davidson is out for the rest of the season with an ankle problem.

Stevie Lawless fears Swindon will not be the last club to be linked with Partick Thistle boss Alan Archibald this summer.

The Robins are on the hunt for a new boss following the departure of Luke Williams and the Jags boss is reported to be high up their short-list of candidates.

But Firhill midfielder Lawless believes Archibald is too good for the newly-relegated Sky Bet League Two outfit.

He is keeping his fingers crossed his manager turns down a move to the County Ground but knows there could be more tempting offers ahead.

He said: "You're going to get interest when you do as well as he has. The gaffer has made some steady improvements every single year he's been in charge and I'm sure that's why he is being looked at.

"But personally I wouldn't have thought (Swindon) would be something he'd be interested in.

"He knows everything about the club and has taken us to our highest league finish in more than 30 years.

"But I think he feels he still has unfinished business here even though he's been doing so well.

"I reckon his stock is a bit higher now after the achievements he's had this year.

"It will come down to his choice and whether he feels it's the right time to move on. The ball is in his court but I'd be surprised if that is the last offer he has this season."

Source: PAR