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Match Preview

Partick Thistle v Greenock Morton – 10th April 2013

The big games keep on coming at the moment. After Sunday’s disappointment in the Ramsdens Cup Final against Queen of the South this evening we welcome Morton to Firhill for as big a league game we’ve played for some time. spoke to manager Alan Archibald yesterday evening as he made his way to the Hamilton v Airdrie United match and he sees tonight’s match as being the perfect game to have after Sunday’s penalty defeat.

“It’s the perfect game to try and bounce back in. There should be a big crowd at this game and if the reaction to our late equaliser on Sunday told us anything; it was how much these things mean to our supporters. The backing that we received on Sunday, as its’ been all season, was fantastic and we know that the fans will be right behind us against Morton.”
Training on Monday, as you might imagine, was a little subdued but the manager felt it was a positive experience.
“Win or lose, it was always our plan to have the players in for training on Monday. They were understandably down after the events of the day before but having the players in gave us the opportunity to speak about what happened, stress to them that, Sunday aside, they’ve been outstanding for much of this season and it gave us all a chance to put that game behind us and concentrate on the Morton match.”
Alan continued;
“It should be an open game which will hopefully suit us but we know that we will have to pass the ball much better than we did on Tuesday and we’ll need to play with a much higher tempo. It’s important that we get a positive reaction from the players and to be fair on previous occasions this season when the players have been asked for a positive reaction they’ve produced just that.”
The performance of his three substitutes on Sunday was one positive to emerge from the game and Alan admitted that he hadn’t quite settled on what his team for tonight’s game is going to be.
“I haven’t decided on the team yet and I’ll think a few things over. The three subs on Sunday all made an impact and they will certainly be in my thoughts for this game. It’s been a frustrating time for Ross Forbes recently but I got a really positive response from him on Sunday; the kind of response that you want. He’s been unlucky not to be playing as we didn’t want to change a winning team besides in a run of away games we were perhaps looking for more graft than craft.”
The manager was able to reveal that most players came through Sunday’s game without any real injury problems.
“There were a few bumps and bruises after the game but everyone should be fine. Hugh Murray and Paul Paton, and we could maybe have done with their experience on Sunday, are still out. Paul was back running on Monday and he stepped that up today as well and did some turning. I wouldn’t read too much into that though. I said when Paul first picked up his injury that he could be out for 3 days or 3 weeks; you just didn’t know with that type of knock. To be honest things aren’t any clearer now. Our only other doubt surrounds Jordan McMillan who is still unwell.”
We will, of course, be without the services of Aaron Muirhead and the manager gave us his thoughts on the news that Aaron will face a SFA disciplinary hearing.
“We were going to be without Aaron for three games anyway and we now face the prospect of being without him for the remainder of the season which would obviously be a blow. The fact that the incident took place in a national cup final and live on TV probably won’t work in his favour. He obviously shouldn’t have reacted in the way that he did but he’s a young lad from Dumfries and he has just missed a penalty in the last minute of a cup final and suddenly he’s has a player right in his face. I think a lot of people would have reacted the way that he did and I don’t think anyone comes out of it great to be honest. I’ve spoken to Aaron and to be fair he knows himself that he’s let himself and the team down. He’s a young lad and the important thing now is that he learns from this and be aware that people might try and provoke a reaction from him in the future.”
Partick Thistle Stats
Current Form – Last Five Games
W            D             L              F              A
3              2*           0              12           3
(* one of the draws ended in a 6-5 defeat on penalties)
Scorers Season 2012-2013
Kris Doolan 15
Steven Craig 14
Chris Erskine 14
Steven Lawless 13
Conrad Balatoni 5
Stuart Bannigan 4
Ross Forbes 4
Aaron Muirhead 4
Christie Elliott 2
Stephen O’Donnell 2
Aaron Sinclair 2
Sean Welsh 2
James Craigen 1
Own Goal 1
Last Game
Ramsdens Cup Final
Sunday April 7th 2013
Partick Thistle 1, Queen of the South 1
Queen of the South won 6-5 on penalties
Morton Stats
Current Form – Last Five Games
W            D             L              F              A
4              0              1              15           5
Scorers Season 2012-2013
Peter MacDonald 15
Peter Weatherson 12
Archie Campbell 12
Michael Tidser 15
Martin Hardie 8
David O’Brien 8
Tony Wallace 3
David Graham 2
Mark McLaughlin 2
Colin McMenamin 2
Kevin Rutkiewicz 2
Stephen Stirling 2
Scott Taggart 2
Kyle Wilkie 2
Fouad Bachirou 1
Lewis Hawke 1
Own Goal 1
Last Game
Irn-Bru Scottish League First Division
Saturday April 6th 2013
Morton 5, Airdrie United 2
Last Meeting
Irn-Bru Scottish League First Division
Saturday February 16th 2013
Morton 2, Partick Thistle 2
Morton: Gaston, Taggart, Dyer, Bachirou (Weatherson), Rutkiewicz, O’Ware, Wilkie, Tidser, MacDonald, McMenamin (Graham), O’Brien.
Thistle: Fox, Welsh, Sinclair, Paton, Muirhead, Balatoni, Murray, Bannigan, Craig (O’Donnell), Forbes (Lawless), Erskine (Doolan).
Morton: MacDonald (58, 81)
Thistle: Erskine (9), Craig (47)
Crowd: 5,647
Match Highlights

Match Details
Irn-Bru Scottish League First Division
Wednesday April 10th 2013
Partick Thistle v Morton
Kick-off: 7:45pm
Adults: £17
OAP (65+): £12
16-21: £12
Full Time Education: £12
Under 16s: FREE
Programme £2.50
Match Officials
Referee: Brian Colvin
Assistant Referees: Raymond Whyte and David Cockburn

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