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Match Preview

Partick Thistle v Hamilton Academical – 18th February 2017

After the excitement of a William Hill Scottish Cup victory against St Johnstone last week it’s back to Ladbrokes Premiership action this Saturday and Thistle boss, Alan Archibald, knows just what a massive game the clash with Hamilton Accies is.

A victory on Saturday could see Thistle sitting pretty in a top six place but Archie told that his side will simply be focussing on getting the right result at Firhill.

“If we win on Saturday we can go sixth and if we don’t win it we can go 11th – it’s crazy. All the teams around us have got similar games coming up and it is going to be an absolutely massive period for us. It’s vital that we take three points on Saturday, especially at home, and if we can do that then we can look to build.

“It can give us a psychological lift if we win as we can potentially start opening up a bit of a gap over Hamilton and Inverness. On the flip side though, they’ll be thinking the exact same thing in that they can start cutting the gap. We simply have to perform and make sure we come out with the result.”

On Thursday it was four years to the day since Archibald first took charge of a Thistle match and, for the Jags boss, there are a number of key factors behind his longevity.

“I think my relationship with the board is a big part of it. They’re always willing to help where they can and we are very much both on the same page with regards to the direction in which the club is moving. We’ve also always had a very good group of players and that helps a massive amount. We have a great relationship and they always give us their best.

“We’re always working as a club to keep things moving forward and it’s important that we keep that going. Whether it’s on the pitch, on the training ground, behind the scenes or through the academy if we can always keep things moving in the right direction that’s the most important thing.

“There is a lot for the club to be proud of in terms of the continuity and the stability around the place at the moment and hopefully we can keep that going. The biggest part of keeping that going is making sure we stay in the league, that’s why games like Saturday’s are so important.”

Archibald has a solid record against Accies during his time in charge having only lost one game but that isn’t something he holds too much sway by.

“I don’t think there’s much in it to be honest. We know them and they know us but the last few games have been really tight. They are usually really tough games and we just need to do what we can to make sure we come out on top.

“Accies have got a lot of good players and they play an aggressive physical game. We know it’s going to be a battle and that means we need to be clinical.”

The Thistle side that faced St Johnstone in the cup last week was deeply affected by injury but luckily the manager has a few more of his regulars to call on for the return to league football.

“We’re much better this week. Obviously Christie is still suspended but our full back situation is looking a bit stronger which is good because we were left quite short on that front last week.”

A more in depth video interview with Alan Archibald is now available to Jagzone subscribers. Log in now to see it. Jagzone members will also be able to watch highlights of the game from midnight.

Can’t make Firhill? Jagzone World members (outside the UK and Ireland) can watch the game live and Jagzone members can 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.

Saturday’s match will also be available on a pay per view basis, details of which can be found here.

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