Saturday 5th March, 2016 at 1:55pm
Fresh off the back of a midweek success in Perth, Thistle return to action tomorrow afternoon with a trip to Tynecastle. This seasons games against Hearts haven’t been enjoyable from a Thistle perspective, something that manager Alan Archibald hopes will change tomorrow.
“We haven’t been able to hurt them at all in our previous two league meetings. At Tynecastle in August I don’t think we had a shot on target such was their superiority. In the game at Firhill, everything that could go wrong, did go wrong and we ended up on the reverse of a heavy defeat.
“Hearts are a strong physical team and they have threats all over the place that can hurt you. We need to defend well in the opening stages to give ourselves a chance at being able to get something against them. If we concede a poor goal then it gives us a mountain to climb and it’ll be a long way back, so we’ll need to be disciplined and resolute.”
As Thistle approach 100 hours of competitive action without a penalty kick, the side have conceded three already this season to Hearts and the gaffer
“They’ve had double figures of penalties awarded this season because they get people into the box making lots of direct, dangerous runs. We’ll have to track the runs and make sure we don’t commit any silly fouls inside the box. We’ve conceded three penalties to them already and they’ve scored from every opportunity, despite Tomas saving the one at Tynecastle. They are a dangerous, ruthless side without us giving them soft, easy opportunities from the penalty spot.”
Thistle showed a lot of hunger and desire to secure the points in Perth, something the manager is hoping the side can replicate in Edinburgh.
“We’ll need to show the same hunger that we showed against St Johnstone on Wednesday to get anything from Tynecastle. At this stage of the season it isn’t about pretty football, although you always want to play the most attractive that you can. It’s about winning your individual battles all over the pitch and working as a team to give us the best chance of success.”
Finally we concluded with tomorrow’s team news.
“Frederic Frans will continue to miss out tomorrow, which leaves us a little light in terms of defensive players. We do have several players who can play across the defence if needed, but hopefully we won’t be in a position where we’ll need to change the defensive line during the game. Mustapha Dumbuya continues to miss out and we’re monitoring his progress and we’re able to welcome Gary Fraser back into the squad.