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Partick V St Mirren at Firhill Stadium : Match Preview

24 Apr 2014 16:01:00

Partick V St Mirren at Firhill Stadium : Match Preview

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


Archibald: Players can handle heat

Partick Thistle manager Alan Archibald feels his players' title-winning experience can stand them in good stead for the nerve-wracking battle to avoid the play-offs.


Thistle's young team kept ahead of Morton to win the First Division last season despite losing manager Jackie McNamara to Dundee United in January.


They continue their bid to retain their Scottish Premiership status when they host St Mirren, who sit a point above them, on Friday night.


"You learn the pressure," Archibald said. "The pressure comes with it.


"A lot of our lads haven't got the experience of being in a dogfight before, but they have a lot of experience of last year when they had to go out and win every single game, or match Morton's results.


"It's something they did really well, and hopefully they will draw on that experience and it will stand us in good stead during the run-in."


Thistle looked a team free of edginess when they went to Kilmarnock last weekend and secured a 2-1 win that took them off the dreaded second-bottom spot.


"You want the players to relax and go out and enjoy it as well, because when they get too uptight they don't play and they start making bad decisions," Archibald said.


"They did that last week. They were hungry for the game and they were up for it, but at the same time they were relaxed enough to pass the ball and at certain times we got that but of quality that got us the victory."


Partick have an unchanged squad for the clash.


Defender Aaron Muirhead is still out following knee surgery.


Stephen O'Donnell (hip), Isaac Osbourne (ankle) and Sean Welsh (groin) also remain on the sidelines.


St Mirren defender David van Zanten believes there are still "twists and turns" to be witnessed in the Scottish Premiership this season but is glad the Buddies go into the final stages of the campaign in good form.


Danny Lennon's side are unbeaten in three games with Saturday's 2-0 home win over Hibernian taking them into eighth place although they are only three points ahead of Ross County who currently occupy the relegation play-off spot.


Ahead of the game against Partick the 31-year-old full-back, in his second spell at the Paisley club, said: "It is a great time of the season to pick up some wins. It is vital that we do that and hopefully we can continue that run.


"Obviously we have found ourselves in a situation that we didn't want to be in but we will continue to fight to try to get out of it.


"There are so many twists and turns still to be had in the league, there are so many permutations and all we can do is take each game at a time and hopefully pick up as many wins as we can.


"Both teams will be desperate for the three points. We have Ross County chasing us with Kilmarnock and Hibs also fighting for their lives as well.


"Partick will be looking for the three points as well and after both teams winning last week, it is another important game."


Saints expect to have skipper Jim Goodwin available after they appealed the red card he picked up in the first half against Hibs for a tackle on Kevin Thomson.



PA

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