Friday 11th August, 2017 at 8:52am
After a disappointing Ladbrokes Premiership opener, away to Hibs last Saturday afternoon, the Jags now face Celtic in the league as the Hoops visit Firhill for a Friday night clash. Thistle boss Alan Archibald spoke to ptfc.co.uk ahead of the meeting.
Archie is hoping that the excellent performance in Perth on Betfred Cup duty last Tuesday night will set his side in good stead for the challenge of Celtic this evening.
“I don’t know if any result can really prepare you for Celtic but it has filled the guys with confidence. I think, importantly, it let the squad put the memories of Saturday’s game behind them. It was a total reverse of that performance on Tuesday and the win puts us in the right mood for the game. We are under no illusions, though. We know that Tuesday’s win doesn’t count for anything when we step onto that pitch against Celtic. We saw the sort of depth they have on Tuesday when they made a lot of changes and still beat a Premiership side 5-0 so we know the difficulty of the opposition we face.”
Although Celtic went undefeated domestically last season and have been rampant in their two domestic games so far this season, the gaffer believes that if you go into the game without hope of getting something then there’s no point in turning up.
“You’ve got to go into every game hoping you can get a win. Me and the rest of the management staff set up a game plan to get the better of our opponents and we do our best to ensure the players can execute that plan. The players know that against the top teams we can get something if we’re clinical. You tend to get chances in most games but you can waste them against teams like Celtic.”
Archie was also optimistic about Kris Doolan’s chances of making it for the game.
“He’s looking better. He trained yesterday and seems to have recovered so hopefully he’s recovered and can play a part. If he has any discomfort between now and the game, then we’ll probably rest him but as it stands we reckon he’ll be ready.”
Despite the probable return of Kris Doolan to the matchday squad, Alan is faced with a tough choice as 20-year old striker, Kevin Nisbet, put in a brilliant display against St. Johnstone – winning a penalty and setting up Thistle’s third goal – acting as a great audition for a starting spot tonight.
“It gives us more options. On Tuesday, we were forced to go with Kevin due to injuries but he’s now proved that he can perform competently against Premiership opposition and that makes injuries slightly less worrying for me. However, if Dools is fit it’s a huge boost for the team and in terms of morale, it helps as everyone knows how important Kris is to the team.”
Can’t make Firhill? Jagzone World members (outside the UK and Ireland) can watch the game live – the stream is also available on a PPV basis. Jagzone members can listen to live audio commentary of the match.
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