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Match Preview

Assistant Manager’s Preview: Alan Archibald – 7th December 2019

As the calendar turns into December frost, wind and rain have been regular visitors to the Jags training this week as preparations hotted up for tomorrow’s trip to Dumfries. Assistant Manager Alan Archibald spoke to to look ahead to the trip south.

“It’s been a good week of hard work off the back of a very disappointing result last weekend. We’ve been training on the 3G surface which will be very similar to what we will play on tomorrow afternoon so we are well prepared for the trip to Dumfries.”

Queen of the South enter this game on the back of a very impressive victory against Dundee and Alan knows the defence will have to be alert for a number of threats throughout the game.

“Queen’s are very good at what they do. They have a good pattern and style in how they play, especially away from home as they demonstrated with their win in Dundee last Saturday. They are always going to be a threat and it’s not just about Stephen Dobbie, they have guys like Faissal El Bahktaoui and Connor Murray who are equally dangerous going forward.

“I thought we gave them some real problems when we played them at Firhill in October, we were just in the door at that point but we feel we should have got at least a draw out the match. We are looking forward to the game and taking to the pitch.”

Thistle played a City of Glasgow Cup tie on Tuesday night, running out 9-1 winners against Clyde and Archie was pleased to see a few players returning to the grass after spells on the sidelines.

“It was great to see guys like Alex Jones and Mitch Austin getting onto the pitch, we’ve had them in the physio room for the entire duration of our spell here so it is great to finally get to see what they can do on the pitch. They both popped up with a goal which will do their confidence no harm at all as attacking players and it’ll give the manager different options in attack as well.”

Stuart Bannigan returned from suspension last weekend but Tam O’Ware will miss out tomorrow’s game due to his red card last week and Alan admits that it has been frustrating not to field the Jags strongest eleven in a match so far.

“I think so. If you ask the manager, I don’t think he’ll know his best eleven at the moment. It’s disappointing for Tam as his last few appearances have been good and it looked like he was nailing down his place in the team and returning to the form he had shown before his injury. It opens the door for someone else to come into the team and claim the spot with a good performance.

Finally, Archie updated us with team news.

“Tam O’Ware is suspended so he won’t play a part in the match. Alex Jones will return to the first team squad for tomorrow’s trip to Dumfries. Mitch is a little bit further behind him so we’ll have to nurse him back slowly so he doesn’t break down. Callum Wilson has returned to training so he is targeting the Glasgow Cup tie against Celtic in a couple of weeks for his return to action.

“Scott Fox will travel with the squad as well but Lewis Mansell continues to miss out with a knock.”

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