Partick Thistle FC logo
Partick Thistle FC
Partick Thistle FC
Match Preview

Partick Thistle v Dundee – 17th February 2018

After a brief break from league duty the Jags return to Ladbrokes Premiership action on Saturday as Dundee make the trip to the Energy Check Stadium at Firhill. The match marks the first of three games for Thistle that could prove crucial in determining the shape of the rest of the season.

Although Alan Archibald is never one to place too much emphasis on one fixture, it’s fair to say that he is well aware of just how big a fixture Saturday’s is and he made this clear when he spoke to after training on Friday afternoon.

“They are certainly an interesting set of games. It’s three big fixtures but I’m probably just saying the same as the other managers of the teams we are going to play in the coming weeks. They are winnable games but they are the proverbial six pointers too and against teams that we’ll probably end up playing again in the bottom six.

“A lot of where you end up in the league come the end of the season is determined by how you do against the teams around you in the table. These kinds of runs can make or break a season. Winning fixtures like these can give you a massive lift and you don’t need to worry about what is going on in other games – it keeps everything in your own hands. It gives us the chance to go as high as eighth I think but the flip side of that is that it gives Dundee a chance to pull away from us so the implications really are huge.

“We just take the games one at a time and look to put everything we have into each 90 minutes. It’s an old adage but it really is all you can do.”

Much has been made of Thistle’s experience last term proving valuable reassurance for the side as they plough well into the second half of the season. Although Archibald is tentative to draw too much on that experience, he does recognise the value of knowing what it takes.

“We went on a good run around this time last year and it makes a massive difference. If you can get back to back wins in this league it makes a big difference and gives you that all important momentum. It’s amazing just what a difference a few points can make in this league, it’s ever so tight and it doesn’t take much to see a team move right up the table.

“Every season is different though and we can’t rely on previous experience to get us where we need to be this term. The playoff and the split has certainly added a bit of excitement to the league but it’s horrible for you when you’re involved with it.

“The biggest thing about making the top six last year was that you weren’t involved in the scrap and the way it has been the last three or four years has meant that every team involved in the bottom six can get dragged right into that battle and it looks like it’s going to be the same this year.”

With a win potentially taking Thistle as high as eighth in the table it really is the same story as recent seasons in terms of how tight the table looks. That being said, the Jags boss insists that there really isn’t anything between most of the teams in the league.

“It really is a game of inches. Outside of the top four or five teams there really isn’t much between the teams and it tends to just come down to who turns up on the day. I think you saw that on Tuesday night when Dundee were probably the better team for a long period of the game but Kilmarnock were outstanding when they went down to 10 men and that changed the game. You’ve seen it in a number of our games this season as well. The best example of that was probably the last time we played Dundee here when they were the better side and we hit them with a bit of a smash and grab to take all three points. It’s fine, fine margins.

With player returning from injury on a seemingly daily basis, Archie looked genuinely pleased to be able to pass on more positive news on the fitness front.

“We’re in a really strong position this week. We’ve got Stevie Lawless coming back after he just missed out for the Celtic game. Paul McGinn is suspended but other than that the only players who will still be out is Christie Elliott and Stuart Bannigan. Even Christie though has made real progress and played 45 minutes in a Development League Game on Tuesday so he is probably only a couple of weeks away from coming back into full contention after four months out with a fractured ankle.”

More exclusive preview interviews with Callum Booth, Mustapha Dumbuya and Jags gaffer, Alan Archibald, are now available to Jagzone subscribers – log in to see them. Jagzone members will also be able to watch highlights of the game.

Can’t make The Energy Check Stadium at 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 also listen to live audio commentary of the match.

For a full list of all the great content you can access from just £5.99 per month as a Jagzone member, click here.

Article Copyright © 2018. Permission to use quotations from this article online is only granted subject to appropriate source credit and hyperlink to

< Back