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Partick V Inverness CT at Firhill Stadium : Match Preview

24 Dec 2013 16:31:00

Partick V Inverness CT at Firhill Stadium : Match Preview

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


Bannigan: Home win will come

Partick Thistle midfielder Stuart Bannigan is convinced their elusive first Scottish Premiership home victory will come if they keep playing the way they have done.


Thistle have picked up most of their points on the road this season but they have two chances this week to claim victory at Firhill when they host Inverness on Boxing Day and Motherwell on Sunday.


Bannigan said: "Everybody is talking about it and we get asked about this every single week. We need to do it and get the monkey off our back.


"The players don't really think about it when we go out on the pitch, we just go into it game by game.


"I'm happy with the way the team are playing just now. We are all young boys trying to play the game the right way. We go into each game looking to win."


Thistle have dominated games against the likes of Kilmarnock and Hearts at home and not picked up full points.


"It's got to come," Bannigan said. "There have been quite a few games this season where we have probably played the better in and had the better chances but we have not taken them.


"But that's part of this league, teams can punish you for one mistake."


A similar scenario unfolded at Rugby Park on Saturday when Thistle missed a number of chances as they fell to a 2-1 defeat which saw Kilmarnock jump above them in the league table.


A six-game run without a league win - since the last time they played Inverness - has seen them drop to 10th but Bannigan believes there are many positives to take from their return to the top flight.


The Scotland Under-21 international said: "There have only been a couple of times when we have been convincingly beaten. All the other games we have competed well. So we have to take positives from that. And there are a lot of points to play for in the coming weeks."


Left-back Aaron Taylor-Sinclair could miss the Boxing Day clash with a knock.


But fellow full-back Stephen O'Donnell returns to the squad following a hip injury.


Isaac Osbourne (ankle) and Sean Welsh (groin) remain out while Gary Fraser is still suspended.


Inverness manager John Hughes believes his team's over-eagerness was their only major fault during his first defeat as manager.


Caley Thistle are looking to bounce back from defeat to Aberdeen when they face Partick Thistle at Firhill on Boxing Day.


But they already began that process when they pushed the Dons all the way after hitting three second-half goals in their 4-3 defeat.


And Hughes felt the players were only the victims of their own desperation to get back in the game when they conceded four goals in little over 20 first-half minutes.


"Their only crime was they tried too hard once we went a goal down," Hughes said.


"Aberdeen scored against the run of play and once they did that, give credit where it's due, Aberdeen were clinical, but we lost our shape because we were chasing the game.


"If that's our worst crime, it's not the worst thing in the world. It tells you they have got character.


"Once we got them in at half-time and settled them down a bit and gave them some instructions, they were a lot better. They restored a lot of pride.


"They are an honest bunch, even when it's blowing a gale outside, the effort and commitment and quality, all credit to them. They put everything into it."


One lasting fall-out from the defeat was a shoulder injury for skipper Richie Foran. The midfielder will definitely miss the festive period and further tests are required to determine how long the Irishman will be out for.


"He will be out for a couple of weeks anyway," Hughes said. "We are just hoping it's not worst-case scenario and it needs an operation. We will know when we get it scanned.


"Hopefully it won't be worst-case scenario and we get him back sooner rather than later.


"He has a real massive part to play at this club. He is very, very good in the dressing room, he plays a real captain's part on the pitch and off the pitch.


"I really feel for him and Richie will probably tell you himself he is probably his own worst enemy. He was in a position where he shouldn't really be - challenging in the box - but I don't think you can take that out of Richie. He's combative, he is all over the place and he wants to win."



PA

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