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Partick Thistle FC
Partick Thistle FC
Match Preview

Kilmarnock v Partick Thistle – 7th May 2016

With only eight days remaining until the 2015/16 SPFL Ladbrokes Premiership campaign comes to a conclusion, Thistle still have three massive games to play and will have a direct influence on the composition of next year’s top flight. First up for Alan Archibald’s side is a trip to Rugby Park tomorrow to face a Kilmarnock side who are flying high after a 4-0 win over Hamilton Accies last weekend. By contrast, Thistle’s last game was a dismal 4-1 defeat to Inverness and the manager is keen to get that loss out of the system as quickly as possible.

“Last week’s result, and performance, was unacceptable. We reviewed the game with the players on Monday, as we do for all games, and we’ve put it firmly behind us. We’ve got to focus on the three games we have left, starting with Kilmarnock, to have a strong finish to the season.

“We’ve got a six point cushion over Kilmarnock and we need to use that to our advantage. I’d much rather be in our position where our destiny is in our own hands and we aren’t relying on other results to help drag us back into the pack. We’ve got to get ourselves over the finishing line as quickly as possible.”

Kilmarnock sit six points behind Thistle in the Ladbrokes Premiership table and will be looking to get three points to drag Thistle into a playoff battle.

“We know Kilmarnock are a side who will be high on confidence and they’ll be looking at the game as an opportunity to drag us back into the playoff battle. We know that if we can get the victory then we’ll be safe and guaranteed to be playing next season in the Premiership.

“We’ve had two home games where we should have picked up the points we’ve needed, and we failed to do that. We’ve played with this pressure for the majority of the season, with a win putting us up a couple of places and a defeat dropping us down a few. It’s something the players have been used to all season.”

This week also saw Alan, together with his assistant, Scott Paterson, secure their long term futures at the club with a contract extension until 2019.

“It’s great to sign an extension with the club. We’ve been talking about it for a while and I didn’t need much persuading to sign. It’s great to know you’ve got the support of the board and I think this contract shows their faith in Scott and me.

“We’re working hard to establish Thistle as a Premiership team and, when the players can see that we’ve pledged our futures to the club, then hopefully they will as well. We’ve tried to make Firhill a good place to come and play football, the players seem to enjoy it and we hope that can continue for the next three years.”

Finally, the gaffer brought us up to date with the team news ahead of tomorrow’s clash at Rugby Park.

“There isn’t much difference to report in squad selection this week with Stuart Bannigan and Gary Fraser still out long term. We had hoped to have Tomas Cerny back for selection but it’s come too soon for him. We have a couple of players with knocks but we’re hopeful they’ll make it in time and we’ll give them every opportunity to prove their fitness ahead of a crucial game for the side.”

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