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Partick Thistle FC
Partick Thistle FC
Match Preview

Kilmarnock V Partick Thistle – 9th December 2017

Saturday sees Alan Archibald take his side to face an in form Kilmarnock in Ayrshire, as the Jags look to get back to winning ways. It was that spoke to Archie before training on Friday to see how preparations were going for an undoubtedly massive game.

“This time of the season has been a good period for the team in recent years but we know it won’t just happen for us, the results won’t simply fall into place – we need to work hard to get there. It will be a tough game on Saturday because their form has really picked up and they’ve obviously taken a bounce from that.”

With eight games in December the games come thick and fast for Thistle in the run up to Christmas and it’s fair to say that the Jags boss knows exactly what is required of his team between now and the end of the year.

“It’s a real crucial part of the season for us now and we all know that. It’s going to be busy but I think the next three or four games are all against teams around us in the league. We want to close the gap and it’s in our own hands to go and do that. We can only control our own performance and we can’t really worry about Kilmarnock’s form whether that be home or away.”

Although Kilmarnock’s home form has not been the best since Steve Clarke took charge their overall record in recent weeks is one of the best in the league. This, however, is not something that will distract Archibald.

“I actually saw them against Hibs and, even though they lost 3-0 which was surprising, they looked very good. They’ve definitely picked up in recent weeks but, as I say, we just need to focus on our own performance and take it from there. There was a lot about the way we played last Saturday that was pleasing even if we were a little bit lacking at times. We need to take those positives and build on them come Saturday.

“The biggest thing for us is being vulnerable and losing poor goals, we’ve definitely missed a bit of solidity this season. I think that comes from having a consistent team and being able to select the same people every week. Our actual performances I don’t think have dipped significantly since we won the couple of games and had a good week but winning is what counts and we need start taking points.

“It’s tight margins in this league and the first goal can be all important. I think you saw the importance of that first goal last week against Hibs, they scored, saw the game out and took all three points. It is a game of inches and most managers could write a book of the small things that have cost them games and points over the years. It’s no different for us and we need to start making sure those narrow margins go for us rather than against us. In that respect the next three or four games are vital.

“We can’t wait on our players coming back for our season to turn. Yes we’ve had injuries but some of them are too far away for us to rely on them getting back and changing our season. We need to focus on those players who are fit and get them working as a unit to win games. We are getting one or two back gradually but there will still be three or four out come January.

“In terms of our squad there isn’t too much change, unfortunately, Stuart Bannigan, Mustapha Dumbuya, Abdul Osman, Christie Elliott and Callum Booth are all still out. Martin Woods was fit enough for the bench last week and will be available again on Saturday which is really the only positive.”

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