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Match Preview

Rangers v Partick Thistle – 1st October 2016

As his Thistle team prepare for the first trip to Ibrox since 2008, Jags boss, Alan Archibald, knows only too well the challenge that will face them as they run out onto the pitch. He took through his own memories of playing in Govan and looked forward to Saturday’s match when we spoke to him after training today.

“I think Ibrox is always a tough place to go but we’re looking forward to it too, it’s a good place to go and play, the surface will be good and there will be an excellent atmosphere as well which should bring the best out of the players.

“Whenever I played there they would always try and intimidate you, there’d be loud music and the atmosphere would be sharp but if we can go and take the game to them then that atmosphere will become less intimidating quite quickly. We want the players to react positively to that atmosphere though and I’m hoping it brings the best out of them.”

Not many of Archibald’s squad have experience of playing Rangers as Thistle are the final club, apart from Edinburgh City, to face The Gers in competitive action since they were demoted in 2012.

“I think it’s one a lot of players want on their CVs but, as I said to the press yesterday, we aren’t there just to take selfies and make up the numbers. We want to go there on Saturday, play well and hopefully get the result.

“Rangers obviously have a bigger budget than us but on the day it’s still 11 Vs 11 and we need to use everything we have to make sure we get an edge come kick off on Saturday. Rangers have come in for some criticism this season but I think it’s far too early to judge them. They’re a strong possession based team and we will need to work hard all over the pitch to get the result we want.

“We’ve done our homework and we know they’re likely to have a lot of the ball so we’ll need to make sure that when we get the chance we can go and hurt them. We had a couple of chances last week and didn’t make the most of them and that result almost spun full circle which just shows how important it is to be clinical.”

Archibald has almost an embarrassment of riches this week as the return of Abdul Osman from suspension gives him more choice in midfield than he has probably ever had before.

“I thought Adam Barton did very well for his debut last week and Ryan Edwards has been excellent. You might find that Abdul does come back in but the good thing is that it puts pressure on his performances as we have real options in that area now.

“We now have quality across the pitch so we have good options in just about every area. What that does mean is that when boys pick up knocks it isn’t as big a problem. For example, we have a few knocks hanging over us from last week; Erskine, Booth and Lawless have all had issues this week so it’s really good that we have ready-made replacements waiting to get involved.”

There will be full live audio commentary, build up, reaction, highlights and full game replays available to Jagzone subscribers before and after Saturday’s game. To sign up to either Jagzone (£5.99) or Jagzone World (£12.99) click here.

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