Friday 10th March, 2017 at 10:00am
After the disappointment of being knocked out of the Scottish Cup on Sunday afternoon the Thistle camp could perhaps be forgiven for not being in the best spirits this week but there was no sign of that as a confident Alan Archibald spoke to ptfc.co.uk to preview Saturday’s massive Ladbrokes Premiership match with Inverness.
Archibald said: “It’s a massive six pointer for us. We have spoken to the lads and they all know how big an opportunity it is. We were extremely disappointed to go out of the Scottish Cup on Sunday but this is a chance to put that behind us with a really positive result.
“It’s a bit similar to the last game we had the last time just in terms of league position and where we are in the table but it’s a chance for us to open up a big gap. It really is a huge game.”
Only an outstanding save from an Azeez shot prevented the Jags taking all three points the last time the two sides met and Archie hopes his side can go one better this time around.
“The last time we met it was quite tight but we probably had the better of the chances. We probably deserved to win based on our quality of play but they had changed things and brought in a couple of players so it wasn’t necessarily quite that simple. Recently they have looked more like the old Inverness. I know they’re bottom of the league but they are a team that is starting to play with a bit of confidence and you have we have to be ready for them.
“We’re back at home again so the onus will be on us to cause the problems. We put it on the lads to go out and improve our home form and they’ve done that with back to back wins so we need to continue that. Every game is going to be harder than the one before just because of how much is at stake.
“We picked up a few knocks against Aberdeen so we need to focus on recovery this week but the boys are ready and raring to go and they are desperate to put things right following the disappointment of the cup game. For all it was disappointing to go out of the cup we now have to focus on our league form.”
A win for Thistle on Saturday could see the Maryhill men stretch their lead over Caley to 13 points but Archibald’s ambitions stretch beyond simply avoiding the drop.
“We want to extend the gap between us and the bottom teams and really drive for that top half. It’s in our own hands at the moment but there are a few teams that all have that same ambition so I know their managers won’t be letting up in any way shape or form – it’s dog eat dog.”
After a hard fought 90 minutes on a heavy Pittodrie pitch there were a few players clearly struggling as the referee blew for full time on Sunday but the Jags boss is confident he will have close to a full squad when he selects his side to face the Highlanders.
“We’re carrying a few knocks from Sunday but we’ll give everyone every chance to play on Saturday because consistency has been all important in our recent good run. Danny Devine and Christie Elliott both picked up knocks but they’re recovering well so we’re still hopeful. There are one or two who are managing injuries as well but they should be fine.”
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 – the stream is also available on a PPV basis. Jagzone members can listen to live audio commentary of the match.
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Saturday’s match will also be available on a pay per view basis, details of which can be found here.
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