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Match Preview

Celtic v Partick Thistle – 8th April 2015

Alan Archibald was in a positive mood as he spoke to ahead of Wednesday night’s clash with Celtic and he insists the team are in a positive mindset for the game having kept three clean sheets in a row.

“The boys are all in good spirits after a tough and hard fought draw in Aberdeen on Saturday. We picked up a couple of knocks up north but hopefully it won’t affect us too much tonight.

“I think everyone is aware that we hit a horrendous run earlier in the season but we have put that behind us now and we’re getting the results at the best possible time. Ever since the result and performance at Tannadice we’ve turned things around and that gives us a great deal of confidence going into this game. Having said that we know we aren’t clear yet and there is still a lot of work to do, we just need to make sure we take that into the rest of the fixtures.”

For the Jags gaffer there was one distinct turning point and that was the poor performance at home to Ross County.

“I do think that was a turning point. We were very poor against them at Firhill and we made it clear to the players that that level of performance wasn’t acceptable. To be fair I feel they reacted well to it and, ever since then, we have performed much much better and played as a team rather than a group of individuals.

“We know where we are in terms of safety but the important thing is that it is still very much in our own hands. We just need to concentrate on our games and our performances and make sure we take the most number of points that we can. The other teams will look after themselves and there is nothing we can do about them. We need to keep our focus on ourselves and make sure we don’t leave ourselves in any danger of getting dragged back into the scrap.”

With the trip to Celtic Park coming hot on the heels of a tough journey to Aberdeen, Archie is acutely aware of the fact that nobody expects his team to come away with anything tonight.

“I think everyone expects Celtic to turn us over tonight but we will be going out with a different game plan. If we can keep things quiet for the first 15 or 20 minutes then the crowd can turn on the home team – you saw that on Saturday at Pittodrie – if that happens then it can really change the game. The fact that nobody expects us to take anything from the game is a real motivator for us and it would be brilliant to go out and surprise a few people by proving them wrong.”

Although Thistle came away from Aberdeen with a couple of fresh injury concerns Archibald should have something approaching the same squad to select from.

“As I said, Dools and Lawless both picked up knocks but we’ll give them every chance to get themselves back into contention. Dan Seaborne, Sean Welsh and Christie Elliott will all miss out but other than that we should have a full squad to call on which is what you want going into a game like this.”

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