Wednesday 30th December, 2015 at 2:04pm
PTFC.CO.UK caught up with Alan Archibald as he prepares his side for another tough Ladbrokes Premiership fixture, this time against Aberdeen. His side were denied the opportunity of playing on Boxing Day with the game against St. Johnstone called off due to a waterlogged pitch.
“It’s frustrating to have our game on Saturday called off due to the bad weather, but it was the right decision by the referee. We’ve experienced first hand what it’s like to have a game started and then abandoned at half-time with the safety of our players at risk in poor conditions.
“The one positive it presented though, was that we were able to allow our players who might have been 50/50 for Saturday’s game, or who would have struggled with two fixtures in four days, to get that extra days rest on Saturday. We absolutely wanted the game to go ahead but a little bit more recuperation is always welcomed.”
Thistle face Aberdeen and Celtic in quick succession, but Alan believes his side pose the mental toughness to pick up maximum points from the double header.
“We have the two toughest games on the fixture calendar coming up but the likes of Motherwell and Inverness have shown that these teams aren’t invincible and that points can be picked up. We go into the game in good form having won our last four matches and we’ll look to take that on. We had a resilient away performance at Tannadice and we know more of the same will be required on Wednesday.
“We’re aware of Aberdeen’s threat, they probably have two of the best wingers in the league through Hayes and McGinn while Rooney is banging in the goals. They’ve done ever so well this season and they’re sitting high up in the table. We’re going to have to defend really well and block every effort through to goal. We’ll also have to take our chances when they present themselves to ensure we have the opportunity to take three points”
Despite not playing on Saturday, Thistle rose up to a season-high position of sixth in the league as a consequence of other results, something which pleased Archie.
“It’s a remarkable league this season as we’re sitting in sixth place in the league, but we are only three points ahead of the playoff slot. It’s compact and we know we’ll have to keep picking up the points to ensure we can try and build a little gap between ourselves and them. We’re still focussed on looking up and catching the team in front of us.”
Finally, Alan brought us up to date with the latest team news ahead of the long trip to the north.
“Sean Welsh’s suspension will carry on to the Aberdeen game so he’ll be missing for us. Christie Elliott is back in training but a lack of game time means he might still be a while away. Gary Fraser is back in contention having gotten over his ankle knocked he picked up a couple of weeks ago and he’ll be in the squad to travel to Aberdeen.”