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Match Preview

Partick Thistle v Hibernian – 15th March 2014

Thistle play host to Hibs this weekend in a fixture that could see the Edinburgh club dragged back into the playoff dogfight. The bottom half of the table remains incredibly tight and, if they put together a run of results, any team could see their league position improve dramatically. caught up with Alan Archibald after training today to get his thoughts ahead of another big game at Firhill. Despite a lot of people talking about targets Alan was keen simply to secure Premiership survival as soon as possible.
He said: “It’s all about Premiership survival first and foremost and securing that as early as we can makes things much easier at the club because we can start building towards the future. Premiership status is massive in terms of starting to talk to players about next season.
“Believe it or not agents start getting in touch with clubs now about players that are available in the summer. Knowing where we are going to be next year allows us to offer them X, Y or Z and obviously it helps when talking to the players that are already here.”
Looking forward to the Hibs game this weekend it is definitely a contest that the manager is looking to take three points from.
“Three points is certainly the target, we’ve been unfortunate in the two previous games against them but it doesn’t all come down to luck. We let a lead slip at Easter Road in the last minute and didn’t capitalise on a game we dominated here earlier in the season. We’ve got a lot to put right this time around and we will certainly be looking to do that on Saturday.
“We know it’s going to be a very tough game, Terry has them very resolute and defending very very well. We know we’ll be up against it but certainly the Aberdeen game has given us a lot of positivity going into it. They’re a team that score a lot of goals from set pieces and our boys have to be on their guard. Having said that we know our front players can hurt Hibs and that’s what we need to focus on.”
Anyone who looks at the table knows how tight it is and Archie is only too aware of what a difference a couple of wins can make.
He said: “If we win we can maybe look to pull Hibs back into it but they’ll be looking at it the same way in that, if they win, they can be pushing top six. It is so tight with the others round about us as well and with everyone playing each other after the split it is going to be an absolutely massive end to the season and it’s vital to get as many points on the board before then as possible.”
There shouldn’t be too many selection problems for Archie but there are three players that will be missing out with Sean Welsh, Isaac Osbourne and Aaron Muirhead all injured.

Partick Thistle Stats
Last Five Games
W            D             L              F              A
1              3              1              8              6
Scorers Season 2013-2014
Kris Doolan 7
Kallum Higginbotham 5
Steven Lawless 5
Lyle Taylor 5
Aaron Muirhead 4
Conrad Balatoni 2
Christie Elliott 2
Chris Erskine 1
Ross Forbes 1
Gary Fraser 1
Stephen O’Donnell 1
Aaron Taylor-Sinclair 1
Last Game
Scottish Premiership
Saturday March 1st 2014
Ross County 1, Partick Thistle 1
Hibs Stats
Current Form – Last Five Games
W            D             L              F              A
1              3              1              7              8
Scorers Season 2013-2014
Liam Craig 9
James Collins 6
Paul Heffernan 4
Jordan Forster 3
Michael Nelson 3
Sam Stanton 2
Paul Cairney 1
Danny Handling 1
Danny Haynes 1
Paul Hanlon 1
Scott Robertson 1
Lewis Stevenson 1
Tom Taiwo 1
Abdellah Zoubir 1
Own Goal 1
Last Game
Scottish Premiership
Wednesday March 12th 2014
Inverness Caledonian Thistle 0, Hibs 0
Last Meeting
Scottish Premiership
Saturday December 7th 2013
Hibs 1, Partick Thistle 1
Hibs: Williams, Maybury (Nelson), Forster, Hanlon, McGivern, Cairney, Tudor-Jones, Craig, Stevenson (Cummings), Handling (Zoubir), Collins.
Thistle: Fox, Taylor-Sinclair, Muirhead, Craigen, Doolan (Lindsay), Lawless (Forbes), Piccolo, Elliott, McMillan, Osbourne, Higginbotham (Baird).
Hibs: Collins (90)
Thistle: Doolan (49)
Crowd: 10,431
Match Details
Scottish Premiership
Saturday March 15th 2014
Partick Thistle v Hibs
Kick-off: 3:00pm
Admission Details
Match Officials
Referee: Brian Colvin
Assistant Referees: Martin Cryans and Dougie Potter
Fourth Official: Greg Aitken
Other Premiership Fixtures
Dundee United v St Mirren
Kilmarnock v Celtic (Friday)
St Johnstone v Ross County

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