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Motherwell v Partick Thistle – 27th December 2014

The Christmas week sees the Thistle boys prepare for a Saturday match away to Motherwell where three points could further stretch the gap between the Jags and the dreaded play-off spot. With the game being played on the 27th it also gives the players and manager a rare Christmas Day off – something Alan Archibald is veery much looking forward to.
“Yes, it’s very rare to get Christmas Day off, I don’t think I’ve had it in about 15 years. With the game being on the 27th it gives the boys the chance to spend it with their families and relax.”
It will be a new look Motherwell for Thistle on Saturday as new Well gaffer, Ian Baraclough takes charge of just his second game.
“I hadn’t heard of him before he got the Fir Park job to be honest but he seems to be very positive and has his team playing and passing the ball very well. I think it should make for a good game. They got a massive win last week and I’ve no doubt they’ll be looking to close the gap on us. We just need to make sure we don’t make it too easy for them.
“Any team that has a new manager can take a bit of a boost, we just need to make sure we don’t give anything simple away and just focus on our own performance.”
“It’s  a big opportunity for us too though. Something has to give in the other games which offers us the chance to maybe jump a place in the table which would be a perfect late Christmas present.”
As the year draws to an end the, Archie is pleased with his side’s progression but is equally frustrated with some of the season’s results.
“First and foremost I think we are a better side than we were this time last year. As a manager you’re always looking for your team to progress and build on what they had before. I think we’ve all seen that which is very pleasing. Having said that, there is a bit of frustration too as we know we can still be a tougher team to beat.”
Motherwell had a very poor start to the season which very much surprised the Thistle boss.
“I didn’t see it coming at all to be fair. Whenever we’ve played Motherwell it has always been a really tough game. McCall got them into a position where they just kept churning out great results and had a real consistency to their game.
“We beat them earlier in the season but it was a game that could so easily have gone the other way. It’ll be a different match come Saturday and we just need to focus on getting the right result.”

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