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Partick Thistle FC
Partick Thistle FC
Match Preview

Hearts Vs Partick Thistle – 19th November 2017

There was one question on everyone’s lips as Alan Archibald sat down with ahead of Sunday’s match against Hearts. And with safety certificate speculation filling the back pages it would be easy to get distracted but the Jags boss was quick to play down any potential issues, insisting that preparation was going ahead as normal.

He said: “All the speculation and rumours are just that for us and we just need to put it all out of our heads and prepare as normal for our game on Sunday because, as far as we are concerned, it is definitely going to go ahead. Our whole week has been aimed at that and we’re desperate for it to be on to be honest.”

Preferring to focus on the match itself rather than discus the different potential outcomes Archibald said: “It’ll be a massive test. We’ve had a wee bit of preparation in terms of what to expect when we went to Easter Road on the first day of the season so we have an idea of what it will be like. We need to use that atmosphere and turn it against Hearts. We can do that if we start well, they’ll be there for the party atmosphere but we’ll be looking to spoil that party hopefully.

“The three points are even more vitally important for us now because we don’t play next week and that gives other teams the chance to get points on the board and build momentum. Something has to give every weekend and it will stand us in good stead if we can get the three points this weekend.

“The league is so tight just now and there are some massive games coming up. If we can get three points on Sunday it puts us back within touching distance of Hearts which puts us into a strong position going into December. There are so many games in December that everyone ends up playing everyone and taking points off each other which can seriously open the league up again.

“From our point of view we want the league to be as tight as possible through December so that when we come back from the winter break it’s still all to play for.”

The Jags came away with a point the last time the two sides met – a match that should have been played at Tynecastle but was flipped to accommodate the Gorgie side – and it could have been three but for a dubious goal line decision that favoured the visitors.

“It was a strange game last time we played them because there was a bit of dubiety over whether their goal was over the line but, truth be told, they probably deserved it for their general play over the 90 minutes. The last few games have been very tight and there are a lot of similarities between the teams in terms of injury problems. All in all it should make for a good game.”

So far Thistle’s season has been massively impacted by injuries and although none of the longer term casualties will return there is some good news.

“Chris Erskine returns to fitness after missing the last squad with a calf strain and we have a fitness test planned for Martin Woods who took a knock to his ankle. Other than that we still haven’t got any real progress to report on the longer term ones so they’re all still unavailable.”

More exclusive preview interviews with Daniel Devine, Ryan Edwards and Jags gaffer, Alan Archibald, are now available to Jagzone subscribers – log in now to see them

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