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Match Preview

Partick Thistle v Queen of the South – 7th April 2013

The waiting is nearly over. In a little over 24 hours’ time Partick Thistle will face Queen of the South in their first Cup Final since October 1971.
After the players had completed a rare Saturday training session [link:HOME] caught up with manager Alan Archibald as he headed to take in a Saturday afternoon fixture and he was able to report an excellent training session.

“There was a real excitement about the place at training today and there was a really good atmosphere. It helped too that we were able to train on the Firhill pitch. We couldn’t get our normal training facility today and I need to thank the groundsman for allowing us to train on the pitch.”
So has the manager told the players the team for tomorrow?
“I haven’t yet; I’ll do that tomorrow. It will be hard to let players down and tell them that they won’t be playing. It’s easier when it is a league game because a player knows that there is always another league game around the corner and that they might get their chance then. A cup final is different; there’s no guarantee that they’ll get another chance in a cup final. I’m 35 years old and I’ve only ever played in one. I was told at the time to make sure that I made the most of the occasion and not to let it go by. While at the time you might think, what does this old guy know; as you get older you start to realise the wisdom of that and that’s something that we will be stressing to the players. Make sure you make the most of tomorrow.”
Alan continued;
“I need to take that advice as well. Being involved in a cup final is a new experience of me. It’s different and you enjoy it all on a different level. I’d like to think that there will be plenty more cup finals for me as a manager but you can’t anticipate the future.”
One thing that the manager can anticipate is a very difficult match against the side that ran away with this season’s Second Division Championship.
“I think that Queen of the South would have more than held their own in this season’s First Division. I’m not being in the least patronising why I say that if, like us, they’d been in the First Division and got off to a good start then I would have expected them to be up challenging at the top. They’ve got many of the players that they had last season but they’ve managed to add a bit of quality as well. In many ways they are a very similar team to ourselves and I’m expecting a really good game tomorrow.”
Cup final or not the preparation ahead of tomorrow’s game isn’t really changing.
“The players had the chance to go to a hotel before the game but they decided that they wanted to keep things as normal as possible.”
And what then of the team news for tomorrow?
“Neither Hugh Murray or Paul Paton are going to be fit enough to play while I’m a doubt. With Andy Dowie and Jordan McMillan cup-tied that has down to almost the bare bones with about 16 or 17 fit players. If someone misses out though that provides an opportunity for someone else and when that has happened previously this season that player has more often than not given a very good account of themselves.”
To round things off Alan said;
“These are occasions that you only truly savour if you end up winning and that’s what we are naturally aiming to do tomorrow. That would set us up nicely for what is shaping up to be a very important game with Morton on Wednesday night.”
Partick Thistle Stats
Current Form – Last Five Games
W            D             L              F              A
4              1              0              13           2
Scorers Season 2012-2013
Steven Craig 14
Kris Doolan 14
Chris Erskine 14
Steven Lawless 13
Conrad Balatoni 5
Stuart Bannigan 4
Ross Forbes 4
Aaron Muirhead 4
Christie Elliott 2
Stephen O’Donnell 2
Aaron Sinclair 2
Sean Welsh 2
James Craigen 1
Own Goal 1
Last Game
Irn-Bru Scottish League First Division
Tuesday April 2nd 2013
Raith Rovers 0, Partick Thistle 0
Queen of the South Stats
Current Form – Last Five Games
W            D             L              F              A
4              1              0              13           3
Scorers season 2012-2013
Nicky Clark 33
Gavin Reilly 15
Derek Lyle 14
Mark Durnan 7
Ryan McGuffie 6
Danny Carmichael 3
Chris Higgins 3
Derek Young 3
Paul Burns 2
Willie Gibson 2
Christopher Mitchell 2
Michael Paton 2
Kevin Smith 2
David Hopkirk 1
Stephen McKenna 1
Last Meeting
Irn-Bru Scottish League First Division
Saturday March 17th 2012
Queen of the South 0, Partick Thistle 5
Queen of the South: Robinson, Reid, Higgins, McKenna, McGuffie, Potter, Johnston (Smith), McLaughlin (Simmons), Parker, Brighton (Reilly), Carmichael.
Thistle: Scully, O’Donnell, Sinclair, Paton, Robertson (Kinniburgh), Archibald, Cairney (Stewart), Rowson, Doolan (Elliott), Welsh, Erskine.
Thistle: Doolan (17 & 64), O’Donnell (42), Erskine (69), Elliott (85)
Crowd: 1,689
Match Highlights

Match Details
Ramsdens Cup Final
Sunday April 7th 2013
Partick Thistle v Queen of the South
Kick-off: 4:05pm
Traffic Information
Match Officials
Referee: Crawford Allan
Assistant Referees: Stuart MacMillan and Graeme Stewart
Fourth Official: Paul Robertson

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