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Match Preview

St Johnstone v Partick Thistle – 29th March 2014

Despite the loss to Celtic midweek Alan Archibald is positive going into Saturday’s vital clash with St Johnstone on Saturday.
Alan said: “Wednesday was very disappointing and I think the start set us back no end, they knocked us out of our stride before we even got going and we struggled to get the ball back for the first ten minutes. We did improve as the first half went on but not retaining possession cost us in the end.
“There were positives to take though, we limited Celtic to only a few chances in the first half and they didn’t really test our goalkeeper. We kept it compact for most of the first half too but in terms of the second half Christie’s goal is probably the only real plus that we can take from it to be honest.”
Looking forward to Saturday’s match Alan knows that it is the first of seven games that will be massively definitive to Thistle’s season.
“I think it’s vital to start the match really well, St Johnstone are on a good run of form and have picked up a few good results recently. They are comfortable in the top six now and they’ve started making a few changes but it certainly hasn’t hampered their performances at all. They’ve added a lot more to their game since earlier in the season, we watched them against St Mirren and they just looked a threat all over the pitch.”
Archie admitted that it is hard not to keep an eye on the results around Thistle but that getting points on the board is always the priority.
“I think first and foremost you have to concentrate on your own results but once you’ve got that victory in the bag, the first thing you’ll do is check what happened elsewhere. Once you’ve done your job, you can only hope that results elsewhere will take you further up the table.”
A tough task in Perth is made all the more difficult for Archibald with a mounting injury list. Welsh and Osbourne are both still out and Higginbotham is suspended but on top of that Balatoni and Muirhead are both out and Mair remains 50 / 50 after picking up a knock on Wednesday night.

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