Saturday 23rd April, 2016 at 1:47pm
Thistle return to action tomorrow afternoon 14 days after the sides agonising defeat to Ross County. Ptfc.co.uk caught up with manager Alan Archibald to find out how the mood in the camp was after such a crushing defeat.
“The first couple of days after that defeat were pretty tough. All of the players were feeling down and the break came at a good time for us. It’s allowed us all to digest what happened and we spent this week getting prepared for another run of fixtures to conclude the season.
“All talk of top six is now consigned to history. In the five games remaining we are focused on getting as many points as we can and finishing in seventh position. We want to be able to show progress from last season by getting a higher points tally and a higher finishing place.”
With the County game now firmly pinned in the past, Dundee are the new tough threat facing Thistle this weekend and the gaffer knows they will be a dangerous opponent.
“Dundee are in a similar position to ourselves, in that they had the top six in their own hands and weren’t able to get the result they needed in order to secure that. They’ll be hurting too and like ourselves will have eyes on the seventh spot for the conclusion of the season.
“We know how good a side they are. In the first game at Firhill they grabbed the points with a late goal after we had hit the woodwork three times. The ball just wouldn’t go in the net for us that day. In January we played them in the snow blizzard and they raced into a three goal lead that they never looked like relinquishing and it made for a long difficult 90 minutes. We know their qualities but equally we know how we’ll be able to counter them.
Dundee are a side Thistle haven’t beaten over the last two seasons and that is a streak the gaffer is keen to end.
“We’ve never been able to defeat Dundee which has been a bit of a puzzler as we’ve usually played quite well against them, with only the game in January being poor from a Thistle perspective. It’s a tag we’re desperate to shake and we have the opportunity to do that on Saturday in front of our home fans.”
Thistle head into the weekend with a couple of suspensions and that will force Alan to shuffle his pack for the Dundee game.
“Dan Seaborne and Callum Booth are out suspended. It’s a bit of a blow having them both miss the same game, but we’ve known it’s been coming so have prepared accordingly. We have plenty of players who can cover with Miller and Dumbuya both being versatile so we have a number of options in defence.”
Finally, the gaffer brought us up to speed with team news.
“Stuart Bannigan, Dan Seaborne and Callum Booth are all out. Tomas Cerny is still struggling with his foot injury that he picked up in the Dundee United game. Frederic Frans should be back available for selection after his knock and we hope that Sean Welsh has shaken off the sickness bug that he had at the start of the week.”