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Partick V Hibernian at Firhill Stadium : Match Preview

14 Mar 2014 17:31:00

Partick V Hibernian at Firhill Stadium : Match Preview

Partick V Hibernian - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game live.


Bannigan's banned

Partick midfielder Stuart Bannigan misses the Scottish Premiership visit of Hibernian through suspension.


Bannigan picked up a one-match ban following his sixth single booking.


Defender Aaron Muirhead again joins long-term absentees Isaac Osbourne (ankle) and Sean Welsh (groin) on the sidelines.


Thistle player-coach Paul Gallacher is happy to keep Scott Fox out of the team - despite being responsible for the goalkeeper's development.


Gallacher has made seven consecutive appearances even though Fox has now recovered from the injury that forced him out of the side.





Gallacher was brought to Firhill on a dual role last summer and believes both he and Fox can push each other to higher standards if they continue to work together.





The 34-year-old said: "It's fantastic to get a run of games. It's been a long time coming. Obviously Scott started the season and did fantastically well and got a Scotland call-up as well.





"But a bit of misfortune on his part opened the door for me and I have come in and feel I have done reasonably well. I will just look to continue my form and hopefully stay in the team."


Hibernian have an unchanged squad.


On-loan Sunderland winger Duncan Watmore returned to action at Inverness on Wednesday following a foot injury but is not certain to feature, while Kevin Thomson is pushing for involvement.


Midfielders Scott Robertson (knee) and Owain Tudur Jones (hamstring) remain on the sidelines while defender James McPake has returned to training following back surgery but is nowhere near playing.


Manager Terry Butcher is still focused on the top six and is not worried about being drawn into the battle to avoid a relegation play-off.


Hibs slipped four points off the top six on Wednesday night and have played a game more than St Johnstone, although they clash at McDiarmid Park before the split.


But the former England captain insists he is not looking over his shoulder at the four teams who are embroiled in the scrap.


"We don't look at that at all," Butcher said. "People might say: 'Well you should be'. But we always look up and try to catch teams.


"We got our first clean sheet of 2014 on Wednesday night and we want to build on that.


"I feel confident we can string together four good results or four wins, whatever it takes, to try and pip St Johnstone to the top six."



PA

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