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Partick Thistle FC
Match Preview

Partick Thistle v St Johnstone – 14th March 2015

Thistle boss, Alan Archibald, spoke to ahead of Saturday’s match against St Johnstone. The Jags gaffer was realistic about the position Thistle now find themselves in but optimistic about the coming games.
“We know the position we’re in, we know are involved in a relegation battle. I think the first signs were there when we lost at home to Ross County, we perked up with a win against United but last week’s result put us right back in the same position. Having said that we also know that there is a long way to go and we are still in the strongest position of those bottom four clubs.
“I think we can draw on where we were last season when we were in a difficult position playing tough tough matches. We will be drawing on all the character and experience we gained last season and I have no doubt that we have enough quality to be well clear by the end of the season.”
At one point Thistle looked in no danger of being dragged into the battle but the recent poor run of form has changed that.
“I think that is exactly what happens when you go on a poor run of form and we have slipped right into it. It doesn’t help when County go on their strongest run of the season but we just have to concentrate on our own game. The good thing is that it is still very much in our own hands and we just need to make sure we do what we need to do.”
Much has been made of the pitches in Scottish football and Archibald is aware of the fact this may dictate a change in playing style for many teams, including Thistle.
“I think everyone has to take a look at how they play at this time of the season. The pitches make it more difficult to play the style of football that we like and we have to adapt our game accordingly. We’ve noticed that in the last three or four weeks and the necessity to get the ball forward more quickly is clear. That isn’t to say we should go long ball, you just need to look at out performance a few weeks ago on a poor Tannadice pitch to see that we can play great football on bobbly pitches. The main thing is that we adjust to fit the conditions and to do that our tempo has to be right.”
Inconsistency in player availability has mirrored Thistle’s inconsistency on the pitch this season with injury and illness causing no end of headaches for the Jags boss. This week will be no different as Archie talks us through his team news.
“Higginbotham is suspended, obviously and Sean Welsh remains out. Seaborne and Booth are both doubtful, Dan has an ankle issue and Callum has a problem with his knee. Christie Elliott will miss out too after breaking a bone in his hand.”

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