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Partick Thistle FC
Match Preview

Partick Thistle v Celtic – 9th December 2016

Alan Archibald knows that Friday night’s opponents will pose the toughest challenge yet for his team as the Ladbrokes Premiership champions look to continue their unbeaten campaign. Despite the tough task facing his team Archibald is confident the players can create problems for Celtic, despite their dominance so far this season. He spoke to to give his thoughts ahead of the clash.

“It will be the toughest challenge we’ll face this season but we need to make sure that we get our fans at our backs nice and early. We know we have the quality to get at Celtic and cause them problems but we need to go out and show that right from the first whistle.

“You saw it with Motherwell last week in terms of their fearlessness and going and getting at Celtic, they scored goals and showed that there is a way to get some joy against this side. Concentration is going to be absolutely vital for us on Friday night and we need to make sure we keep ourselves in the game and don’t throw away any easy goals.”

Thistle have already come so close to beating the blue side of the Old Firm this season and this is something the manager and the players take heart from going into Friday’s fixture.

“We took the positives from the Rangers game but there are lessons to be learnt from that experience as well. The players have to know that they can’t switch off, even for a second, especially when it comes to games against the better teams as they will punish you.

“Having said that if we get a similar performance on Friday as we did against Rangers the other week then we hopefully won’t be far away. People talk about our record against Celtic and there’s no getting away from that but it isn’t something we fixate on, we just look to get out there and win the game.”

Tomas Cerny came through last Saturday’s draw with Hamilton Accies unscathed and Archibald is delighted to have his number one back between the sticks.

“It is great to have Tomas back. It has been a testing time for us with regards to keepers – we’re on to our fourth one this season which I can’t remember ever happening before. We took the decision to give Tomas as long as he needed to rehab the injury and it’s great to have him back. There was a concern that, if he required an operation, his season might have been over but, hopefully, we can really work hard with him over the winter break and that will be the issue sorted.”

Finally, the gaffer filled us in on all the other injury news.

“It’s just the same really with regards the long term injuries, Gary Fraser has done a bit of jogging this week but Bannigan and Scully just continue their rehab. We have seen some progress with Mustapha Dumbuya though as he has started taking part in some light training with the first team which has been great to see. That being said, he has been out for a while now so we’ll need to just be patient and make sure he is a s strong as possible when he does return to action.”

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