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Match Preview

St Johnstone v Partick Thistle – 28th April 2018

Following a rousing victory over Hamilton Accies on Saturday there has been positivity running through the Jags camp all week. Despite the victory though, the manager and players alike all know that, as valuable as the three points were, they will mean much less if they aren’t backed up with a win against St Johnstone this weekend.

Speaking to after training, Jags boss, Alan Archibald, started by highlighting just how much of an impact the Accies win had on the side.

“It was vital that we got the first victory and it made it a much better place to come to work on Monday. When you’re off for two weeks and there’s a big build up then everything has to go into that game something is always going to give. The first game of the split is ever so important and a victory on Saturday was absolutely essential. We got that and it gives us a platform to go and build but we must do that this week in Perth.

“We’ve got a good record up there but that means nothing in a situation like this. What it does do is it makes us confident that the players will be comfortable going there and we can look forward to it. I watched St Johnstone last week though and they looked very good – I thought they were unlucky to concede the late goal. They’re also a different side to the one we played in January as they’ve got two or three new additions who we’ve never played.”

Ryan Edwards’ winner at the Energy Check Stadium at Firhill sparked wild celebrations both on and off the pitch with players rushing, en masse, to the dugout. The squad unity and togetherness was there for all to see and it certainly isn’t something the manager undervalues.

“The togetherness has always been there as I’ve mentioned all season. Listen, there is no getting away from the fact that it has been a horrible run and a horrible season but the players haven’t shirked the responsibility. They are an honest bunch of professionals and they don’t need the lack of consistency in performance to be pointed out to them. As a group we haven’t performed this year but the spirit remains and you saw that on Saturday. The spirit will be extremely important between now and the end of the season so it was great to see in the victory over Accies.”

With the announcement in the week that Jags MD, Ian Maxwell, would soon be departing for Hampden Park, the gaffer was keen to add his voice to the growing support for the new Scottish FA Chief Executive.

“Ian has done a fantastic job here and we’re allowed to go and get on with our jobs as much as possible. He’s had a fantastic board here as well who have always been available to help him if he was stuck with something and without any barriers I think he will do a great job.

“He’s always got Scottish football at the front of his mind when he makes decisions, he’s also able to look at it from every point of view as well – a player’s, a manger’s, a businessman’s and a fan’s. Ian is someone I’ve had a great relationship with over the last few years, he’ll bring honesty and integrity and I think he’ll do a fantastic job.”

After a season dominated by injuries it was clearly a relief for Archibald to be able to report on a clean bill of health ahead of the trip to Perth.

“We’re fully fit with the same availability as last week which is great and hopefully gives us a bit of consistency. We’ve also seen Stuart Bannigan back training over the last couple of weeks which is absolutely brilliant for him as he’s been out for a long time now.

More exclusive preview interviews with Callum Booth, Christie Elliott and Jags gaffer, Alan Archibald are now available to Jagzone subscribers – log in now to see them.

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