Partick Thistle manager Alan Archibald has hit back at pundit Pat Bonner after the former Celtic goalkeeper tipped the Jags for the drop.

Bonner said that either Thistle or Hamilton could end up bottom of the pile come next May as he made his predictions for the season for the BBC.

Archibald was bemused by the slight against his side – who finished ninth last season – and accused Bonner of ignorance when it came to his knowledge of the Firhill club.

“A couple of people have still tipped us to go down, believe it or not,” Archibald said.

“Pat Bonner mentioned us but I don’t think he even knows where Partick is, so that doesn’t make any difference to us.

“You can use it to your advantage as motivation. We know what we are and our aim, first and foremost, is still to stay in the league. There are four teams who should be up there challenging, but the rest are much of a muchness.

“It’s harsh even tipping one team to go down. Someone has to be picked when you’re put on the spot. It’s been better for us because we’ve kept the majority of our best players, whereas usually a lot of them might have moved on. I know how that affects the group.

“The players believe in their ability. We ask for more all the time. The players we kept had the chance to move elsewhere, but we still want more from them too. We don’t want to rest on our laurels.

“We don’t want to be in a position where we’re fighting for our lives, but we have to do our talking on the pitch.”

Archibald revealed meanwhile that captain Abdul Osman is likely to miss out on Saturday’s opening league game against Inverness after only returning to training over the last couple of days.

Christie Elliot is in a similar situation, and while he is set to return to action soon, Archibald is still keen to bolster his defensive options.

“We still have space for one more player,” he said. “We need a defender in to provide more competition.

“Christie Elliott’s been back in training. He gives us that competition and can play in either full-back position, which would allow Ziggy [Gordon] to move into centre-half.

“There’s nothing imminent and we have guys in all the time to have a look at them. We’re waiting on a bit of movement.

Tomas [Cerny] came through the Queen’s Park game fine and Ryan Scully’s had two weeks of full training, so we should be fine on that front. It’s too soon for Christie and Abdul though.”

The Thistle boss also had some words of advice for his opposite number in the dugout at Firhill tomorrow, Richie Foran, as he embarks upon his managerial career.

It wasn’t so long ago that Archibald himself was in a similar position, and he has been impressed by the way that Foran has already stamped his own identity upon his team.

“Richie should just be his own man and stick to what he believes in,” he said.

“I think he will because he always seemed that type when you played against him. He was a real competitor.

“He seems to have changed Inverness already, at least from the two games that I’ve watched. They look a different side. He’s put his own stamp on it.

“They’re direct and I don’t mean that in a long ball sense. They’ve got two very good wide men and they want to get the ball quicker, without being route one. They play some really good stuff.”