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Partick Thistle FC
Partick Thistle FC
Match Preview

St Johnstone v Partick Thistle – 2nd March 2016

Thistle return to action tomorrow night against St Johnstone as Thistle look to grab another three points and climb the Ladbrokes Premiership table. caught up with manager Alan Archibald to gather his thoughts.

“It’s strange to be playing St Johnstone so soon after meeting them at Firhill, but that’s the way the fixture list has thrown it up. We’ll have played four league games in a month by Thursday, but only faced two different teams, which is quite unusual. We played Motherwell at the start of February and beat them, before they turned us over quite comfortably on Saturday so we’ll have to be wary not to fall into the same trap with St Johnstone.”

The tight nature of the league gives Thistle the opportunity to climb the division, regardless of how other results go on the night.

“If we get a draw, I think we go back up to 9th since Motherwell don’t play until Saturday. On the other hand, we could be just a couple of points above 11th by the time we finish on Wednesday, that’s how close it is. We need to just take care of ourselves and prepare correctly for the task in hand.

“A couple of the St Johnstone players were saying our pitch played better than theirs, so we’ll need to see how it is when we get to McDiarmid Park tomorrow night. We won’t be using the pitch as an excuse and we’ll have to do the basics correct in order to give ourselves the best opportunity to win the game.”

Thistle have a good recent record when netting the first goal in a game, something Archie believes is crucial.

“To get the first goal in Premiership games is absolutely vital and it’s something we’ll need to do on Wednesday night. We’ll need to keep our shape and discipline to make sure that we don’t concede a sloppy goal in a game that will be determined by very small margins.

“On Saturday it was a mistake that cost us the penalty, and ultimately the first goal and we’ll need to be fully switched on during the early stages of the game. To grab the first goal is key and we’ll need to win all of the knock downs and second balls to give us the chance to snatch it. Its little things like that which can determine games and hopefully give us a win.”

Finally the gaffer concluded with his team news.

“Christie Elliott missed training on Monday through illness and we’ve got a couple carrying knocks that we’ll give every chance to make the game on Wednesday night. We’ll assess our options and we might rotate the team slightly to freshen it up as we are in the middle of a heavy run of fixtures.”

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