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Match Preview

Ross County v Partick Thistle – 3rd April 2018

Partick Thistle face the challenge of a second game in four days as they travel to Dingwall to take on Ross County in a crucial battle at the bottom of the table tomorrow. The Jags lost out 2-0 despite a solid performance especially in the first half. The Maryhill men showed a vast improvement against the Hibees when their display against Hearts two weeks prior is considered and could have taken the lead with 20 minutes to go had they not seen a goal chalked off. Now they turn their attentions to tonight’s game against County. A win for the Jags would see Thistle move six points clear of their opponents, however, a Staggies victory would take County above the Jags on goal difference. The game is one of the biggest of this season’s relegation fight and spoke to Alan Archibald to preview the clash.

Archie began by outlining the importance of tonight’s game and ensuring that everyone understands that the game could be season defining.

“It’s a huge game and everyone knows that. It’s the same for both clubs; it’s probably the perfect example of a ‘six-pointer’. They have the incentive of being able to come off the bottom of the table if they win so they’ll be right up for it and we need to be as well. We did well for long spells on Saturday but we lost so now the boys just want to be back on the park.”

Thistle were perhaps a tad unlucky with decisions on Saturday as they were defeated by Hibs but the gaffer wants his players to cast that from their minds so they can focus on what’s ahead rather than dwelling on what’s been and gone.

“We didn’t get the rub of the green but that’s just what football is like sometimes. You can’t expect everything to go your way and sometimes the big ones go against you. It’s important that we can take the positives from our performance and try to develop that without thinking back to the result. That’s in the past now and all we can do is go out and get the result we want at County.”

During the defeat by Hibs, Thistle lost their goalkeeper Tomas Cerny to injury so we asked Alan to give us an update on the number one’s condition.

“The injury is one that Tomas has had before which makes it easier for us to handle. Overall, it’s our decision whether we’d want to risk him or not. He’s getting slightly better each day but if we do risk him we could lose him for a long period and we don’t want to be missing him for longer than necessary. It’s something that will involve close communication with our medical team and we’ll make a decision with the help of their advice.”

The Thistle boss then spoke about the team’s confidence. The side haven’t won since the end of January and are without a goal in three games but he hopes they’ll take encouragement from the way they played at the weekend and use that against a County team with confidence problems of their own.

“I think confidence can be very important to any team. It’s very difficult to get the best out of your players if they aren’t feeling confident and that will be affected when you don’t win for a while. It can affect decision making on the park and can make players mess up simple things. Ultimately, there will be two teams tonight who are both struggling and we just have to impose ourselves and find our confidence through a positive start to the game.”

Thistle travel to Dingwall tonight looking to extend their lead over bottom club, Ross County with a win. Kick-off is 19:45 from the Global Energy Stadium.

More exclusive preview interviews with Niall Keown and Jags gaffer, Alan Archibald are now available to Jagzone subscribers – log in now to see them.

Jagzone members will also be able to watch extended highlights of the game.

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