Saturday 12th July, 2014 at 6:36pm
Thistle make their second pre-season outing this evening with another fixture being played at the Pinatar Arena in Spain. Tonight sees the Jags go head to head with Championship side, Brighton and Hove Albion. The south coast outfit, managed by Sami Hypia, finished sixth last season but were beaten by DerbyCounty in the playoff semi-finals.
Having got off to a strong start against FC Pinatar Arena earlier in the week the team has continued to train hard with sessions on the pitch, in the gym and in the pool. Thistle boss, Alan Archibald, believes that all of the hard work will put the team in good stead for tonight’s match.
Alan said: “It took a couple of days to get used to the heat but we’ve trained really well during the week. I said it ahead of the game against FC Pinatar and it’s the same for tonight’s game – it’s all about fitness and match sharpness. Both are getting better with every day of training and with every game we play I expect to see an improvement.
“Brighton are obviously an experienced outfit playing in a top English league and the fact that they made it as far as the playoffs last year shows exactly what level they are operating at. We just need to concentrate on our game though and make sure we start to put some of the work we have been putting in on the training pitch into action in the match.
“The players are looking forward to the challenge and it’s a good way to finish off what has been a hard but very rewarding week. Hopefully we’ll be able to give the fans that come along a decent show and it will certainly be a good work out for the players.”
It’s not all been plain sailing for the manager though with a few players picking up knocks or strains along the way.
“I don’t think we’ve got anything too serious but it’s often the way during pre-season that a few boys pick up a knock or a niggle – it’s all just part of returning to a tough pre-season. All in all it leaves us a bit short but it just means some of the younger lads will get more of a chance to prove themselves in the game tonight.
“The guys that have stepped up from the 20s have done well so far this week and a couple of them will get a chance again tonight.”
Unfortunately for Declan McDaid, who scored two of the goals against FC Pinatar, will miss out tonight having picked up a thigh strain. Bannigan is also set to miss out along with Wilson and Colina. However, Doolan, who missed the earlier game with an ankle injury, should be involved this evening. Welsh and O’Donnell remain sidelined with long term injuries however the latter has returned to training this week.
Kick off is at 6pm (UK time) at the Pinatar Arena and you can follow the game on the Thistle Twitter account: @Thsitletweet.