Friday 7th September, 2018 at 1:40pm
Having bounced back from a difficult result against Dundee United with victory over Greenock Morton at the weekend, Partick Thistle now take a break from the turbulent Championship season to move into Irn-Bru Cup action. Tomorrow, it’s East Fife for the Jags as they travel to Methil for the first time in 16 years looking for progression. In the last round, the Maryhill men went to Stranraer and comfortably won 5-0 so a similar performance and result would be welcome this time round. Thistle manager, Alan Archibald spoke to ptfc.co.uk ahead of a tough tie on the road for his team.
Alan began by discussing the type of challenge that East Fife will pose and how his side will look to approach the second Irn-Bru Cup tie of the season.
“It’s always a bit different when you play in the cup and even more so when you come up against lower league opposition. If you’re not careful you can always get a shock in these types of games no matter where the other team is in the league structure. East Fife are in last place in League One but, in my eyes, that’s a bit of a false position. I’ve watched some of their footage and they can play very good stuff so we will need to be playing well to get past them.”
Archie is more than aware that East Fife will see Thistle as a scalp and as such will be very keen to get the victory over a team from the league above.
“We’ve had that before when we’ve played lower league teams; they tend to have that little bit more inspiration which can give them an extra yard on the park. However, we have played three lower league teams away from home already this season and I think we’ve dealt with those games very well. Overall, we’re in a good place and have prepared well so hopefully it all comes together for this game as it did at Stranraer.”
The gaffer then expanded on the importance of having played lower league opposition before this game with that experience being invaluable for the younger players and those who are in their first season in Scottish football.
“It’s very useful because it’s a different atmosphere when you’re involved in these sort of games. Going away to stadiums like Stair Park can be a little bit of a reminder for the younger guys that they’re lucky to be at a Club like ours and it might push them to produce more for us. The older guys who have played in loads of these games will hopefully pass on little bits of advice too.”
The Jags’ boss touched on the signing of Tam Scobbie who played for Thistle’s Reserves on Monday having joined the Club on loan from Dundee United on deadline day.
“He’s a great player to have both on the pitch and in the dressing room. When he played with the Reserve team, he was very vocal and made a huge difference for the younger lads. He’s got so much experience in Scottish football and we hope he can pass some of that onto our younger guys.”
Alan then finished by discussing his team selection ahead of tomorrow’s game with a multitude of options at his disposal with a fuller looking squad now in place.
“I’ve got plenty of decisions to make which is a good thing, ultimately. We want to give game time to the guys who are still short of fitness and haven’t played much. Jai Quitongo and Stuart Bannigan are still coming towards the end of their recoveries so on the artificial surface they’re not going to feature as it stands, even though I was very impressed with Stuart’s performance off the bench last weekend. Andréa Mutombo is still a bit short of full fitness so we hope he’ll be fit to play but Dan Jefferies has already played in the Irn-Bru Cup for Dundee Colts so he’ll go back to play with them this week.”
More exclusive preview interviews with Andréa Mbuyi-Mutombo, James Penrice and Jags gaffer, Alan Archibald, are available to Jagzone subscribers – log in now to see them.
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