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Match Preview

Partick Thistle v Motherwell – 8th May 2018

A point on Friday night kept hopes of avoiding a playoff spot alive for Jags fans, even if it wasn’t the win they had hoped for. Although there are a multitude of different outcomes based on results elsewhere, Alan Archibald was quite clear what his focus would be on. The Jags boss spoke to just after training on Monday afternoon.

“The situation hasn’t really changed to be honest. One team is out of trouble now but we still have a chance of catching Hamilton. To do that though we have to, first and foremost, win our game on Tuesday night. Motherwell are a good side and I think Saturday was very unlike them. Judging by Steven’s comments after the game I think they’ll probably strengthen again. It’s important that we take care of our own business though and we can’t be worrying about what the teams around us might do. We need to start well and look after ourselves – that’s what we can influence.

“The way the goal difference sits at the moment I think we’re looking at two wins to secure our place in the league for definite. At least we know what we need to do though, we need to go out and win. Thankfully we’re at home as well and that should give the lads a boost.

“At the start of the split we knew we would need to win two or three games and we haven’t done that yet. We remain unbeaten which is definitely a positive but our situation is very clear and we know exactly what we need to do. Win our two remaining games – that, first and foremost, is our target.

The last time Thistle and Motherwell met at the Energy Check Stadium at Firhill it resulted in a nerve shredding 3-2 victory for the home side and Archibald would definitely take a replica – at least of the first half performance!

“We’d certainly take the first half performance – although I’m not sure I could take that last 10 minutes again! As I say, we played very well in the first half and I would definitely welcome a similar performance on Tuesday night.”

Nervousness is part and parcel of football at this time of the season but Archie insists his players won’t be negatively affected by the pressure.

“We really haven’t sensed a nervousness in the players which I think is a good one. The first time we really felt it was when we went one up against County on Friday night there. I thought we had a crazy five or 10 minutes where we were doing things that we hadn’t been doing – jumping into tackles, giving away silly fouls and misplacing passes. I think some of that comes from us not really having been ahead in games though and it’s times like that when we need to look to our more experienced guys to calm everyone down.

“We’re aware of the pressure – we all are. But we need to try and be as positive as we can near the start of the game and keep the focus on the match. If we’re concentrating on what we’re doing through the match then everything else will fade into the background. You get the best out of some people when they’re under pressure – a lot of players thrive on it and it’s down to us to get the most out of the players when it matters most.”

Finally Archibald gave an update on the fitness of his squad.

“We picked up a couple of knocks after the County game so Baily Cargill is 50/50 after he got a gash in his leg that required stitches and young Andy McCarthy picked up a knock too so he is a bit of a doubt. We’ll give them every chance and see where we are come kick off.”

More exclusive preview interviews with Daniel Devine and Jags gaffer, Alan Archibald, are now available to Jagzone subscribers – log in to see them. Jagzone members will also be able to watch highlights of the game.

Can’t make The Energy Check Stadium at 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 also listen to live audio commentary of the match.

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