Friday 28th September, 2018 at 10:00am
It’s been a little over five years since Thistle last played at East End Park and the Jags travel there for Friday night’s Ladbrokes Championship fixture against Dunfermline Athletic. The match is being broadcast across the country on BBC ALBA and manager Alan Archibald is looking for his players to rise to the occasion when they head to the Kingdom of Fife. The Jags gaffer spoke to ptfc.co.uk shortly after the final training session of the week had been completed.
“We’re looking forward to the match on Friday night. It’s been a confident week of training after last Saturday’s victory against Queen of the South. We’ll take a big following up to East End Park and it should make for a great game under the floodlights.”
Dunfermline haven’t won in the league since the opening day of the Ladbrokes Championship but Alan knows that the Pars remain a very dangerous side to face.
“I watched them a couple of times in the Betfred Cup and they were brilliant. We know they have a lot of quality in the front areas of their team. We’ve watched their last couple of games and they were very, very good against Greenock Morton last weekend so we know they will be a threat.”
In a very compact division, Thistle are just four points off the summit of the table and, with the rest of the league not in action until Saturday, have the opportunity to climb a few places on Friday night.
“We know it will be a very tough game but we’ve played well in the last couple of weeks. We created three good goals last week, with Kris Doolan’s being the best of the bunch in my view. We played the ball about patiently and created the opportunity to score.
“Where we do need to improve is at the back. We’ve been giving goals away too easily and we need to sharpen up defensively, particularly on the road. We’re desperate to get that first win on our travels, but we know it will be very difficult. We know Dunfermline are a very good side. If we can play at our best and get that win, we know it will propel us up the league and put pressure on the sides around us.”
Ahead of the game, Archie informed us on team news as well as an update on Tam O’Ware who underwent a knee operation this week.
“We’re looking in a good position this week with it mostly being the long term players who are unavailable. Dan Jefferies, however, has picked up a groin injury and he’ll miss out on Friday night.
“Tam O’Ware went in for his operation on his knee on Thursday morning and it should be a straightforward recovery. He’s still been around the group since he sustained the injury and he’ll have a couple of days to rest after the operation before starting to do a lot of hard work to get himself back fit. We’ve been keeping him involved around the group as much as we can. When you are injured you want to be part of things as much as possible. All being well, hopefully we’ll get Tam back ready to play for the run-in to the season.”
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