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Match Preview

Partick Thistle v Greenock Morton – 1st September 2018

For the first time in three weeks, Championship football returns to the Energy Check Stadium at Firhill tomorrow as Partick Thistle take on Greenock Morton. The Ton are back in Maryhill having taken on the Jags during the Betfred Cup group stages in July but come into this game on a three-game unbeaten run in league action. Thistle, on the other hand, are looking to bounce back from a disappointing defeat to Dundee United by taking all three points in this meeting with the Cappielow side who sit joint top of the league after three games. Jags boss, Alan Archibald spoke to ahead of the weekend’s match.

Archie began by mentioning the last time his side faced Morton. On that occasion, the Jags came out on top, winning 2-1. The gaffer hopes that his side take confidence from the previous fixture but also wants to make sure they don’t become complacent and just expect the three points.

“It’s going to be a very difficult game as it was last time. When we played them in the Betfred Cup, we dominated and got our two goals in the first half but let them back into things in the second. Overall, it was very even on the night and we’ll expect a similarly tough game tomorrow.”

He also touched on Morton’s form since their last trip to Maryhill. The Ton have only lost once in their last six games and beat Ross County last week, coming from behind to down the Staggies.

“They’ve made a very good start to the league. Winning against Alloa isn’t going to be easy, especially at their place and beating Ross County is a big result for them so we know they’ll be in a confident mood for the game. We need to come out tomorrow and shut that down early on. We can’t let them build momentum during the game and if we can stamp our authority on the game in the early stages, then that will give us a good platform to build on.”

The gaffer then highlighted the importance of bouncing back from last weekend’s loss. After losing at Somerset Park on the opening day of the league season, the Jags rebounded by beating Falkirk at home the following Saturday and Alan hopes his side respond in a similar way to the Tannadice defeat tomorrow.

“It’s vitally important that we get back on track, especially at home. When we played against Falkirk, no one hid away and we want to see the same again in this game. Last week, we didn’t use the ball anywhere near well enough and I want to see more football being played tomorrow. If we can actually get our foot on the ball then I think we’ll have a very good chance of getting the win.”

He then updated us on the progress of Stuart Bannigan and Brice Ntambwe who both came through over an hour of Reserve League action on Monday as they build towards their first games of the season.

“Both Brice and Stuart are still a bit off it. Anyone who watched the game could tell they aren’t there yet in terms of match fitness and sharpness. They’re both different cases with Stuart coming back from injury and Brice just building up his fitness. Brice should come into the squad for the game but Bannigan is probably slightly behind him so it might be too soon.”

On transfer deadline day, we ended by asking the manager what business he hopes to do before the window shuts at midnight tonight.

“We hope to add to the squad today. We’ve been working all week and a couple of deals we thought would go through hit snags yesterday but that’s the nature of the transfer market. We need reinforcements in defence, that’s clear and we hope to address that before the end of the window. We’re happy that Niall has revised his deal which makes it a bit less hectic for us today as that’s finally sorted but even with that we’re still looking to add to the squad.”

More exclusive preview interviews with Cammy Bell, Chris Erskine and Jags gaffer, Alan Archibald, are available to Jagzone subscribers –  log in now to see them.

Jagzone members will also be able to watch extended highlights of the game.

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