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Partick Thistle FC
Match Preview

Partick Thistle V Rangers – September 15th 2017

It has been a busy week for all concerned at the club as players, staff, coaches and manager gear up for another tough run of games. Taking time out of his busy schedule to talk to, Thistle boss, Alan Archibald, started by admitting that the most important thing about Friday night is the points.

“A win of any kind would be good and I don’t necessarily think it matters who it is against. We haven’t won in the league yet so that is our main concern – regardless of who the opposition is. The longer it goes on the more people start to see it as a monkey on our backs.

“We got a point last week and hopefully that becomes a good point with a result at home on Friday that we can hopefully follow up on with more of the same next week. We don’t care about whatever incentive the opposition might have of going top of the league or whatever it may be. Our incentive is just as big as theirs that’s all I or any of the players are worried about.”

Although Thistle didn’t manage to take a point of Rangers last season they twice went within minutes of going one better as victories were snatched away from them in each of the home ties.

“I think we learnt a lot from the games last season and it showed that we had more than enough to match them for long periods of the game. Our quality showed and it just proves that we have got what it takes in a number of different areas to go and take the game to the best teams in the league.

“We can reflect on those games and know that we did a lot of things well but they’re a very different team this season having strengthened in the summer and I think you’ve seen that already in the early games. They’ll take time to properly gel as there has been a big turnover in players but the talent is definitely there.”

Top six last year was a marker for Thistle but Archie is under no illusions and knows the league has only got tougher.

“Every team in the league has strengthened, you can see that across the board. I said at the start of the season that it will be a really tough league this season because of the improvements the other teams have made and I stand by that. Games are won and lost with narrow, narrow margins and on the night you have to be at your very best from the first whistle to the last.

“One thing we can’t get away from is the fact that we need to defend better. We haven’t been good enough at the back so far this season and we need to improve that as soon as possible.”

It’s Friday Night Lights for The Energy Check Stadium at Firhill as the BT cameras travel to Maryhill to cover the game, however one thing is certain – Archibald’s team will not be distracted.

“The Friday night thing doesn’t really make a difference to us to be honest. We change our week and adapt our training but it’s still all geared towards the game on the Friday. I think the players like playing under the floodlights and in front of the cameras. It’s something a bit different and it always comes with a great atmosphere, we just need to make the most of it. The pitch is in great condition and the stadium will be bouncing come kick off so everything is there for us to go and do our jobs.”

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

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