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Match Preview

Queen of the South V Partick Thistle – January 20th 2018

After what has seemed like an age without any Jags action on the pitch, the team return to action on Saturday in William Hill Scottish Cup action against Queen of the South. The trip to Dumfries is a game that some media pundits are tipping as a potential upset but Jags boss, Alan Archibald, insists the team’s preparation won’t change as he explained when he spoke to earlier today.

“Our preparation will be the same as any other league game and we’ll treat it the exact same as if we were playing in the Premiership. We just need to focus on ourselves and make sure we come away with the result at the end of the day.

“We need to go about our business in the right way, they’re a good side with a good mix of experience and younger players. It was good for us because we took advantage of the winter break to go and watch them a couple of times and they certainly impressed from what I could see.

“They’ve got a good amount of quality in the likes of Rankin and obviously Dobbie who has scored a lot of goals for them this season. We need to make sure we stop those good quality players.

“I think all of our players are aware that a lot of people are looking for an upset this weekend and we’re probably the fixture that a few media personalities are tipping for that. We say it to the boys every year that there will be a couple of shocks and we just need to make sure it isn’t us.

The romance of the cup is something that grips most Jags fans at this time of the year and Archie is no different as he looks to deliver a good cup run.

“It is a cup game and everyone likes the feel of the William Hill Scottish Cup. I think it’s good to get a break from the league and our fans really embrace it as well. We’ve done fairly well in the cup the last two years and we’re just looking to build on that this season.

“Our first hope was a home tie but then we just wanted someone from a different league, just for a change of scenery and to give our supporters something different. A lot has been made of their plastic pitch but we look at it and we’re at least glad you know you’re getting a consistent surface and you’re not going to need to deal with a horrible rutted pitch. We train on a synthetic for half the year and have been on one for a good couple of months now so that certainly won’t be an excuse for us.

It wasn’t just the Spanish sunshine that kept the manager’s spirits up when the team were away, it was also the sight of three of his long term injuries returning to full training and taking part in the friendly match against Shanghai Shenhua.

“The great thing about getting out to Spain was that we got eight training sessions and a game for Abdul Osman, Callum Booth and Mustapha Dumbuya and then we got the game at the end of the week as well. That’s the bonus of going away, you know you are going to get good quality training on a grass pitch every day. We got James Penrice back on loan from Livingston and we’re hoping Christie Elliott isn’t too far away either which is excellent. I know it’s a cliché but it will be like having four or five new signings on board.

“The prime example of how valuable the trip to Spain was highlighted when we got back and had to cancel a bounce game on Tuesday because of the snow. That would likely have been the story for the whole week so it really does make a huge difference. We could feasibly go from only having one or two natural full backs to having four or five which will be absolutely brilliant.”

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