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Match Preview

Partick Thistle v Hamilton Academical – 29th November 2014

After going down to a narrow, and unlucky, defeat against Aberdeen on Sunday Alan Archibald has the chance to take his team away from Premiership action for a weekend as the Jags take on fellow Premiership side Hamilton in the William Hill Scottish Cup.

Despite not even being Christmas yet it is the third time the two teams have met already so there should be no surprises come kick off on Saturday.

The gaffer started of by telling what his team was looking like:

“Jordan McMillan returns from suspension but has come down with a virus this week so his involvement is very much in doubt but we’ll give him every opportunity come Saturday. Kallum Higginbotham has trained all week and Sean Welsh is back training with us too so they’ll both be there or thereabouts. Eccleston will miss out but Foxy, missed Sunday with some food poisoning, was back with us on Tuesday too so we aren’t far away from a full squad.

Paul Gallacher came into the team last week at the expense of the poorly Scott Fox but the competition for the Thistle gloves is a problem that Archibald is happy to have.

“I often get asked about it but it is not a bad problem to have by any means. It is a very good situation to have and I’m happy to have a difficult decision to make. The important thing is that they can both be very much relied upon and, as Gal showed on Sunday, when the time comes he will more than step up to the mark.

With the top 14 SPFL teams being drawn against each other the Jags have been handed a tough home tie against Hamilton but Archie knows it can only mean good news for Thistle if they progress.

“From a fans point of view, I think you’d rather be seeded. We were sat watching the draw and just wanted someone from a different league – something a bit different. We got St Mirren in the cup and played them twice in five days and now we have Hamilton who we’ve already played twice. Having said that it is a massive incentive for us. You know seven of the best teams in the country will be going out at the weekend so, in terms of going on a run, it is a great opportunity.

“A good cup run is something this club really deserves. We’ve had a terrible record in them over the last 10 years or so – going out in first and second rounds over and over again – which is awful and we really want to put that right.

“You’ve seen over recent years some of the less obvious clubs winning cups and there is absolutely no reason why that can’t be us this season.”

Having already played Hamilton twice Alan knows exactly what they are up against.

“We only played Accies a few weeks ago so we know exactly what to expect. They’re a good side who will battle, at high tempo, until the very last minute but they are a team that we have matched and played well against. All we need to do is focus and play to the best of our ability and we can book ourselves a place in the next round.”

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