Alan Archibald has dismissed the prospect of a move to Swindon Town as speculation, but the Partick Thistle manager acknowledged that it reflects well on what is happening at Firhill.


The longest serving manager in the Scottish Premiership previously turned down the chance to move to English League One after Shrewsbury Town came in for him earlier in the season, but admitted to being flattered by the link, albeit principally on behalf of his club.


“I think it is a compliment because we’ve performed well enough this season, so it’s good to see the club getting recognition of that sort,” said the 39-year-old who was short-listed for the Scottish PFA manager of the year award.


However he said that no approach has been made and that until that happens his focus will be fully upon trying to finish the season in the best possible fashion, building on last weekend’s performance against Rangers.


“For 80 minutes I thought we were outstanding,” Archibald said of a game his side dominated before Rangers first grabbed a late equaliser and then victory with a Joe Garner winner four minutes into injury time.


“When we first knew we were in the top six I was disappointed with the way we played in our next match against Rangers, but against Hearts and then last weekend I thought the quality of some of our football was exceptional.


“There was just a hunger and a desire about the way we played.”


That was all the more remarkable since the Thistle players had better reason than most to go on holiday early after getting themselves out of the cut-throat bottom six battle to avoid relegation, but too far adrift of the top four to have any realistic chance of European football once they got there.


All the more so towards the end of what has been a tough campaign and Archibald reckoned that did take its toll in the closing stages against Rangers.


“I did think they looked tired towards the end of the match, contributing to the way we lost it. Mentally and physically they looked a little bit weak, but they have demonstrated huge personal pride in the way they performed,” said their manager.


With investment in the club bringing about improvements in their capacity to develop players there is growing evidence that Thistle’s potential should be re-appraised in a domestic context.


“There’s always expectations and they are going to be higher again next year,” said Archibald.


In saying so he noted that the problems that their fellow Jags, 2015 Scottish Cup winners Inverness Caledonian Thistle, have had to deal with this season represents a warning.


“There is always one team that is surprisingly at the bottom of this league so we are not complacent,” he observed.


“This is going to be a hard league again next year with a big budget club coming up in Hibs and the possibility of another one.”


Archibald is consequently particularly pleased by the prospect of continuity as he looks towards that challenge.


“Most of the squad’s signed up so if we don’t lose anyone between now and August it will good to simply be looking at adding a bit of quality,” he said.


“Three years ago we had six, seven, or eight out of contract at this stage and it was a real nightmare, so we learned from that.”


He also finds himself in a fortunate position of reaching this point of the season with more fit players than at any stage previously so his only consideration ahead of this weekend’s visit to St Johnstone, is whether to freshen things up in light of that evidence of fatigue against Rangers.


“Apart from Sean Welsh and Stuart Bannigan, our long-term injury problems, we have no injuries so we might make a couple of changes but we should be fine,” he said.