KALLUM Higginbotham is confident Partick Thistle have a bright future under manager Alan Archibald.

The Firhill boss was denied a win in his 100th match in charge on Saturday as Hamilton snatched a late leveller to all but secure seventh spot in the Premiership standings this season.

It may have been a disappointing way to mark his century, but there are plenty of reasons to be cheerful for Archibald and Thistle fans at the moment.

The Jags will finish no lower than eighth in their second season back in Scotland's top flight as Archibald continues his impressive job in the dugout.

Higginbotham is one of a clutch of Thistle stars who are out of contract at the end of the campaign, but the winger reckons the foundations for further success are in place at Firhill.

He said: "There is nothing about my contract as yet. I have always said from the start that I would wait until the season is over.

"We have finally secured safety and, if we can keep the nucleus of the team together, we can have a very good season next year.

"I think we have been a bit unfortunate this year with late goals and not having that run earlier on in the season.

"But if we can keep most of the players together we will have a real push next year.

"It would have been good to get the win [in the manager's 100th game] and we came so close.

"It was just another game. But I think the gaffer will be here for a very long time. He is a fantastic manager and a really good man-manager as well.

"He has definitely brought me on, and I have not got a bad word to say about him."

It was to prove a frustrating afternoon all round for Thistle as they failed to hold on to their lead after defender Stephen O'Donnell had put them in front with just 18 minutes remaining.

The plastic pitch at New Douglas Park stifled both sides as neither team was able to showcase their talents on the sticky, sun-drenched surface.

Accies defender Michael Devlin and Jags forward Ryan Stevenson both suffered knee injuries and Higginbotham is certainly not a fan of the fake grass.

He said: "It is hard to get any sort of game going on that surface. I have never approved of plastic pitches and never will. It is just not for me. I did my knee earlier on in the season down at Kilmarnock. Surely it is not good for your joints.

"You feel about 105 when you come off the pitch after the game. It just shows you that it is not suitable to play 90 minutes on. I don't know how they train on it every day as it must knock a couple of years off your career.

"The boy from Hamilton took a sore one and that was down to the pitch. His foot has got jarred in the pitch.

"If you are prone to injuries there is no point in taking a risk.

"I have spoken to James McFadden about it and he had the chance to join Kilmarnock, but didn't because his knees wouldn't hold up.

"The more and more you bring them in the more the game is going to go downhill."