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Match Preview

Partick Thistle Vs Ross County – 1st April 2017

With no game at the weekend due to the international break, Alan Archibald and his side return to action this Saturday with a crucial match against Ross County which could see his side strengthen its grip on a top six place ahead of the split.

Speaking to after training it was clear that Archibald and his players were well aware of exactly how big Saturday’s game could be.

“These home games are massive because we don’t want to be going into the final day of the season needing a result. We needed that last year and everyone knows how it turned out. It’s in our own hands but they are going to be tough, tough games. Everyone is fighting for something and every week seems to get bigger and bigger not only for us but also for those around us in the table.

“We know how hungry County will be for the points and we always have close games with them. I think Jim came out in the week and said that if they didn’t win that might be them out of the top six race so I’m sure they will be throwing everything at it.”

There doesn’t tend to be much between Thistle and County when the two sides do meet and the Jags boss knows this weekend will be no different.

“Every time we play them there is a goal here and there that separates it. We’re at home and we have started to turn our home form around so that is definitely a positive. We’re on a good run of form so we go into the game full of confidence and ready to make the most of the opportunity.

“We’re in a better position than we were last season. Back then we were waiting on other results and relying on teams doing us a favour but this year it is firmly in our hands and we know we can keep it that way if we get the results. On the flip side though if we don’t win and others do we will quickly drop back out of that top six position. It’s been like that for the last 10 weeks or so but we have the opportunity to really stamp ourselves on that last spot with the right result on Saturday.”

Although normally sides on a good run don’t want the international break to disrupt the momentum, Archibald is happy to admit it came at the right time for his side.

“The break came at a good time for us just in terms of injuries. We were down to nine or 10 bodies ahead of the Killie game but we’re back up to not far off full strength now so the bit of time off definitely did us some good. Callum Booth, Abdul Osman and Steven Lawless have all had a bit of recovery time and we’re now back to 18 and we’ll need every one of them.

“We have a massive target to aim for and everyone one of the boys wants to be involved. They each push each other and it’s a really good feeling we have around the squad. It’s vital that that keeps going though and we absolutely must maintain our focus going into this final pre-split run.

“We said around the St Johnstone and Aberdeen games that we were basically down to a mini season and that was the challenge to the players. Go out there and compete in the games and give us everything you’ve got. From there we went on the good run and we’re now in a superb position to make the top six. For now though we’re just focussing on Saturday and making sure we put everything into the 90 minutes.”

A more in depth video interview with Alan Archibald is now available to Jagzone subscribers. Log in now to see it. Jagzone members will also be able to watch highlights of the game from midnight.

Can’t make 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 listen to live audio commentary of the match.

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