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Match Preview

Dundee v Partick Thistle – 12th May 2018

It seems that the final third of Partick Thistle’s season has been one season defining game after another but none so far have had the potential consequences that Saturday’s clash with Dundee have. With anything but a win leaving the door open for Ross County to take the play-off spot the stakes have never been higher for Alan Archibald and his players. Despite this, the Jags boss took time to speak to after the team’s penultimate training session ahead of Saturday’s match.

Archie started by updating the injury situation after Tuesday night: “We didn’t pick up any fresh knocks just a bit of fatigue from the guys who played the full game the other night. Niall Keown is suspended but Callum Booth and Andy McCarthy both did a little bit of training today so we’re hopeful we might be able to get both involved on Saturday.

“We want to give everyone every chance but we also know that there will be one or two missing. That is inevitable when the games are coming thick and fast like they are just now. We’ve got a big enough squad to deal with it though and that’s what we need to do just now.”

Tuesday night saw the Jags miss out on the chance to drag Hamilton Accies right back into the play-off mix but Archibald is adamant that, despite the disappointing result, his side are fully focused on the job they now have to do.

“It was very disappointing for us as it was definitely a missed opportunity for us to go into the final game with others involved and a chance of securing our safety without the play-off. It wasn’t to be though and we need to move on and deal with the situation we find ourselves in.

“I thought the lads put a lot into the game and it was a decent performance in terms of the first half. We created a number of chances but just couldn’t take them. We need to put the same amount of effort into the game and hope that we get that bit of luck we need in front of goal.”

With a win and two draws since the split Thistle have certainly looked more assured but, with a target of three wins in mind going into the first game, the results haven’t quite been enough to steer Archibald’s men away from trouble.

“We need to keep on doing what we’ve been doing and work hard to get the result. I think since the split it has been very positive in terms of the way we have started games but we just haven’t taken enough points. We knew we needed to win at least two but probably three of our home games to give ourselves a chance and we didn’t do that.

“In terms of the lads’ attitudes it has been good and we have started the games well. We’ve created chances and we just need to focus on those positives but make sure we score when we’re on top.”

One thing is for sure, Archibald will certainly not be banking on Dundee having one eye on the summer break.

“There’s no way Dundee will have downed tools. I think they targeted five wins and they will definitely have that in their crosshairs when it comes to Saturday. Every player is out to prove a point at this time of the season, whether it is older guys coming to the end of contracts or younger guys trying to get in the team so, no matter what kind of side he plays, we know it’ll be a challenge.

“All we can do is concentrate on ourselves. We’ve got no excuses whatever team they put out or whatever they want to do – it’s about Partick Thistle and what we do. We can’t get distracted by play-off chat, we just need to concentrate on winning this Saturday.”

With a strong Hibernian side adding to an already tough league it was always going to be a big ask to replicate last season’s successes. Despite this though, Archie knows his side should never have put themselves in this position.

“I said right at the start of the season that it was going to be a harder league but there is no doubt that we should still be doing better. We’ll get to the end of the season, look at where we are and go back and look over it. We need to learn from this season and work out what we can do better. For now though it is all about Saturday and making sure we get the three points that will guarantee we live to fight another day.

Make the trip to support the side. Partick Thistle are offering FREE supporters buses to the match. Dundee are providing a family deal for supporters who purchase in advance.

More exclusive preview interviews with Adam Barton 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 Dens Park? Jagzone members can listen to live audio commentary of the match. JagZoneLIVE begins at 2:30pm on Saturday.

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