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Match Preview

Gateshead v Partick Thistle – 6th July 2013

Tomorrow, just 64 days after a highly successful 2012-2013 season finished, Thistle return to action when they play Gateshead, at the home of Durham City, in their first public pre-season friendly.
A return to action in front of the several hundred Jags fans that are expected to make the trip is something that manager Alan Archibald is very much looking forward to.
“It will be great to get back playing in front of the punters again; the game will feel more real because they will be there. It means too that we are just about a month away from the start of the competitive action.”
First public match it might be tomorrow but the players have had a taste of action already having played in a couple of bounce games, against Airdrie United before they left for Durham and on Wednesday night against West Auckland. As the manager explains those games were more about building up fitness levels than they were about results.
Said Alan;
“We included four trialists in our game on Wednesday and we did our best to make sure that everybody played a half each. It was virtually two different teams in each half. It was really all about fitness. The players have been doing double sessions all week and they trained before this game as well. To be honest they were knackered.”
Alan is expecting tomorrow’s game to have a more competitive edge;
“With Thistle fans at the game I want us to win the game but I need to be mindful too of the fact that the game will be played on a plastic pitch, just as Wednesday’s match was, when it comes to picking the team. We’ll take another looks at the trialists we had out on Wednesday and we’ve another coming down for the game.”
At this stage of the season there is little point in risking any player that has any kind of knock and there will be a few that will miss out tomorrow.
“The one down side of pre-season so far has been the injury that Stuart Bannigan picked up in our bounce game with Airdrie last Saturday. He’s going to be out of action for a couple of weeks but although it is the same ankle that he injured against Falkirk last season it isn’t as bad as we thought it might be at the time. He’ll hopefully be able to do some running on Monday.”
The manager continued;
“Sean Welsh has done most of pre-season but he isn’t feeling quite right and he will miss out against Gateshead. Declan McDaid picked up a knock too. On the plus side Jordan McMillan and Hugh Murray, who didn’t play against Airdrie last weekend, are fine.”
The week at Durham has been time well spent. Said Alan;
“It’s been fantastic. The weather has been great and the facilities have been brilliant; the pitch is almost right on our doorstep. We’ve been really well looked after by the people at Durham University and we can’t thank them enough.”
Match Details
Pre-Season Friendly
Gateshead v Partick Thistle (at Durham City FC)
Kick-off: 3pm
Directions to New Ferens Park
Adults: £10
Concessions: £5
Under 16s: £2
Programme: £1.50

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