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Match Preview

Celtic v Partick Thistle – 2nd January 2016

Alan Archibald caught up with as his side began a recovery session after putting in a tremendous shift at Pittodrie late last night.

“There are a lot of tired players this morning, which shows how hard we worked last night as a team. We didn’t get back to Glasgow until the small hours so there hasn’t been much recovery time so far and we’ll just monitor the situation over the next couple of days.”

If going to Pittodrie was the second toughest fixture on the calendar, then going to Celtic Park on Saturday represents the toughest, something that Alan agrees with.

“It’s always tough playing against Celtic, we know they have a lot of quality players and we will have to defend excellently for the entire match to take anything from the game. The game last night sapped a lot of energy out of the players physically, but they now mentally know that they can take results against the best sides in the division. We’re going into a game against Celtic on the back of a good run, and there is a belief in the camp that we can go there and take a point.

“The last time we went into a game against Celtic away from home, in April, we were on the back of a similar run of clean sheet form and for the first half we were restricting them until we lost a penalty just on the stroke of half time. We know how quickly it can change and we’ll be looking to frustrate them and use the crowd against them, rather than a force of encouragement.

There were some walking wounded around Firhill this morning as the players recovered from a tough shift against Aberdeen.

“Mustapha Dumbuya suffered a shoulder injury which hopefully won’t turn into anything that will cause him to miss action. Callum Booth picked up a bit of a knock in the dying stages as we clung on at the death. Gary Fraser missed out due to a recurrence of his ankle injury which he had picked up previously. Christie Elliott is still missing. He’ll likely be involved with the development squad over the next few weeks to pick up match sharpness. On the plus side, Sean Welsh returns from injury and he’ll present us with a fresh option to choose from in the heart of the midfield.”

Finally, Archie took a moment to speak about the Thistle fans who travelled to Aberdeen last night.

“The backing we got at Aberdeen last night was tremendous. It wasn’t the easiest trip to make with the bad weather, and the fact Christmas was at the weekend, but the backing the fans gave the players was excellent and was very much appreciated by the players and coaching staff alike.

“I’d like to wish all Thistle fans, and their families, a very happy and prosperous 2016, which will hopefully have another successful year for Partick Thistle Football Club. It’d be great to start 2016 with three points against Celtic, especially since we’ll be roared on by a sold out allocation of Thistle fans.”

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