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Match Preview

Partick Thistle v Aberdeen – 8th March 2016

Thistle are busy preparing for a tough fixture against Aberdeen tonight as the run of games continues to come thick and fast. caught up with manager Alan Archibald after training on Monday to catch up on how the feeling is in the camp.

“The players are confident and raring to get back onto the pitch. On Saturday we were extremely disappointed not to come out of the game with at least a point. I felt we had the better chances, particularly at 0-0, but we didn’t take them and were punished for a lapse at a set piece.

“We stressed to the players after the game that we can match the elite sides in the league, but we know that incredibly fine margins will decide games. We have to continue to be incredibly resilient in the defensive areas and if we get clear cut opportunities, we have to punish teams with them and see how they react. We’re at a stage in the season now where teams are getting nervy at going a goal down because they are chasing titles, European slots and battling off relegation. The pressure can do funny things to teams and we have to exploit it.”

Aberdeen are sitting in 2nd in the table looking to chase down Celtic, and the gaffer is ready the Dons to come out all guns blazing.

“Aberdeen and Celtic are now in a mini-season of their own. They know they need to win every game to end the season as champions and we know they’ll both come out firing to get the game won as quickly as possible.

“Aberdeen are missing key players in Pawlett and Rooney but the players who will replace them are also quality players so we can’t afford to take them lightly. They’ve been consistently good all season and we’ll have to be at our best to get anything from the game. We were outstanding at Pittodrie in December, and got a point, so we’ll have to, at least, match that performance on Tuesday night.”

The one negative from Saturday’s game was the injury to Stuart Bannigan and we asked the gaffer how Thistle’s influential midfielder was recovering.

“We’re still not 100% on the diagnosis of Stuart. He’ll go for a scan today[Monday] and we’ll get the results back at some point this evening[Monday evening]. Stuart will be a massive miss to the side and we hope the injury isn’t too serious, but he’ll almost certainly miss the Aberdeen game. He’s still in a bit of pain and we’ll just have to look after him.

“We’ve got a few players with knocks and are struggling to make it. That’s what happens when you play some many games in such a short space of time, the players don’t get any time to rest because the spell is so gruelling. One player who will return to the squad is Frederic Frans who returned to training on Monday and he brings a bit of defensive depth to the squad.”

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