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Match Preview

Partick Thistle V Rangers – September 19th 2017

Jags gaffer, Alan Archibald, spoke to ahead of tonight’s Betfred Cup quarter final and, although there were a great number of positives to take from Friday night, he knows the cup clash will be an entirely different proposition.

“There were plenty of positives to take from Friday night – especially the second half performance. It won’t be the same kind of game on Tuesday night but it was certainly a performance that gave us heart. There were lessons to be learnt too though as we were sloppy in possession in the first half. We’ve been over both sides of it with the players though and we’ll be well prepared for the Betfred Cup tie.

“We’re at home and it’s a massive chance to get to a semi-final which would be a massive thing for us and for our supporters. Friday night gives us the knowledge that we can hurt this team and while we know it will be a different kind of contest it does give us confidence, it will help no end.”

A 2-2 draw with tonight’s opponents last week has set the home team up well for the clash but Archie knows it will be a very different proposition this evening.

“The boys stood up really well even in the later stages when we were a man down. To be fair, with three centre halves on the pitch that is exactly what we were looking to do. We played to their strengths and I think you saw that, particularly in the later stages. They worked ever so hard and it was only the real bit of quality from Dorrans that we failed to stop.”

Chris Erskine was given his marching orders on Friday and as a result misses tonight’s clash. Although the manager knows the Firhill talisman will be a miss he insists there is enough depth in the squad to provide suitable cover.

“Erskine is a loss, he gives us something different. He didn’t keep the ball as well as we would have liked on Friday but in the final third he gives us something different and he’s willing to go and gamble on a cross which you saw with the goal.

“The flip side to that though is that we did have a very strong bench the other night and it just gives somebody else the chance to go and prove themselves. Our bench on Friday had Steven Lawless, Conor Sammon and Kris Doolan on it so there are plenty of options there.”

Erskine isn’t the only Jag missing with Archibald having a number of key players out of action.

“As well as Erskine we’ll also miss our captain again, Abdul is still struggling with his shoulder and he’ll go see a specialist this week to try and get to the bottom of the problem. In addition to that we’ll also miss Miles Storey who is cup tied and Tomas Černý is still 50/50 with his stomach muscle problem. Tomas has a chance but we’ll just need to wait and see.”

Despite missing his skipper and first choice keeper the gaffer is confident and, more importantly, knows exactly how much a semi-final berth would mean to the Thistle faithful.

“Getting to a semi-final would be absolutely huge for us. I think I played the last time we got that far which shows just how long ago it was! We got close last year when we lost 1-0 to Aberdeen in the Scottish Cup and I think you then really start to get a taste for it. Our fans can help as well, they came out in great numbers on Friday and really backed us so hopefully we can get more of the same on Tuesday night – the players really appreciate it.”

More exclusive preview interviews with Conor Sammon 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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