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Match Preview

Albion Rovers v Partick Thistle – 24th July 2018

It’s been a satisfactory start to the 2018/19 season for Partick Thistle manager, Alan Archibald as his side have played twice and won twice. A disappointing second half showing against Morton has put the two wins into a bit of perspective but six points from six available is nothing to be scoffed at. Now, a full week after their last game, the Jags prepare for a tricky trip to Cliftonhill to take on Albion Rovers. The League Two side are yet to pick up a point in Group E but performed admirably against Ayr at the weekend and will certainly provide a tough test for the Maryhill men. Thistle boss, Alan Archibald spoke to ahead of the third group stage fixture of the season.

Alan began by stressing that his team can’t expect an easy game against the Wee Rovers and that they certainly won’t be taking John Brogan’s side lightly.

“It’s sure to be a tough game. They were really poor against Stenhousemuir but improved massively for the Ayr game. You can never take any game for a win before you play as we’ve seen with other teams in this competition and we’ll treat Albion Rovers with plenty of respect.”

Archie says that with more pressure on Thistle than Rovers, it’s important that the Jags stick to what they know and impose their style of play on the match.

“Ultimately, if we play our best, we should win without a doubt. However, if we aren’t at our best then we can easily be shocked. No one expects them to win so that could give them a bit of freedom and encouragement but if we can start well and put that fire out then everything will be much easier from there on.”

The gaffer knows that after flying starts to both of their group games so far, the Jags have fallen away as the games have gone on. Although he’s been disappointed by that, he predicts that the team’s performance over 90 minutes will improve with the more game time the players get.

“Both our first half performances have been strong and thankfully, we’ve taken a couple of first half chances in each match, which was something we didn’t do at times last season. Against Stenny, we let them back in briefly then took control again whereas, against Morton, we completely lost control in the second half. Hopefully we get a more consistent performance over 90 minutes as the guys hit full fitness and get to know each other as players.”

Archibald admitted that it has been quite difficult to prepare for Albion Rovers as they are a team in a period of huge change. They have a new manager in John Brogan and 20 players leaving the club including 28-goal man, Alan Trouten. As such, it’s tough to discern a real style of play from their two games so far and there’s an element of the unknown about the Cliftonhill side.

“It’s impossible to predict how they’ll play and who’ll start. John Brogan will still be testing different things out with his players and we have to be ready for anything. I went to see them against Ayr on Saturday because they have a lot of players I didn’t know much about and I’ve tried to relay what I learned to the players.”

More exclusive preview interviews with Chris Erskine, Miles Storey and Jags gaffer, Alan Archibald, are available to Jagzone subscribers –  log in now to see them.

Jagzone members will also be able to watch extended highlights of the game.

Can’t make it to Cliftonhill? Jagzone members can listen to live audio commentary of the match. JagZoneLIVE begins at 2:30pm on Saturday.

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