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Partick Thistle FC
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Rangers V Partick Thistle – 15th April 2017

After securing a top six finish with victory over Motherwell on Saturday, Partick Thistle are now faced with a trip to Ibrox as they try to end a near 24-year winless period against the Gers. The Jags are currently on an eight-game unbeaten run which has included a win against Hearts and a draw at Celtic Park so Thistle won’t be fearing a trip to the Scottish Cup semi-finalists.

Thistle are safe from relegation worries but still have something to play for as Hearts sit just three points ahead of the Jags with a game against the Jambos still to come. So, a win at Ibrox would help massively in the chase for fifth. Thistle’s Assistant Manager, Scott Paterson, spoke to ahead of the game to give his thoughts on the weekend’s fixture.

Paterson firstly mentioned the great news regarding the announcement of plans to build a new training centre for Partick Thistle’s youth, women’s and senior sides.

“It was great to secure our top six spot but obviously, the news of the new training ground is excellent and it’s been a great week for the club as a whole. For a club like Partick Thistle it’s something that will benefit us hugely and hopefully we can kick on from here.”

Scott was also adamant that the players and management staff aren’t in holiday mode with fifth spot still up for grabs.

“Our season doesn’t end with six games left. It’s something that we have discussed with the players as well. We’re looking to catch Hearts and all we can do is win games and put pressure on them. The split allows us to stop looking down and we have our sights on Hearts now. To keep up the pressure we have to get results and that starts on Saturday where we’ll be looking for a performance from the boys.”

The assistant manager was also very clear that the top six finish and new training facilities will make player recruitment much easier for himself and Archie.

“It makes it much easier, no doubt about it. Hopefully with the news of the new grounds and our top half spot, we will be able to attract better players. Despite that, the budget still matters and the club doesn’t go crazy, spending money for fun. We’re well run here and we try to be realistic with our aims. We can’t suddenly buy two or three marquee players but at the end of the day it always comes down to whether we can find the right player for us and what we’re looking for.”

Scott Paterson was also aware that although the club can look at players earlier this summer, most of the squad are contracted for next season at least,

“Most of the lads are already signed up. There are two or three that the manager is speaking to but that’s the benefit of securing safety early on. We can now plan well in advance for next season but it’s fantastic to be safe with six games left to play as we haven’t always had that luxury.”

Paterson is hopeful that the new training ground will impress current players and give them a desire to be a part of a growing club.

“I think it’s a sign of where the club is heading. Myself and Archie, we’ve always spoke about how good it would be to have our own training ground. We told the players on Tuesday, just before the news came out and they all thought that it was a wind up, so it’s something that they’re all impressed by in terms of the ambition of the club and it might entice them to stay longer than they may have otherwise.”

Scott Paterson and manager, Alan Archibald, take their Thistle side to Ibrox on Saturday as they look to continue to pile the pressure on fifth place Hearts. Kick-off for that game is 15:00.

An 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.

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