Alan wary of being stung in battle of the Jags

ALAN ARCHIBALD says Partick Thistle will take nothing for granted as they bid to pile the pressure on Inverness this weekend.

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Archibald has been impressed with Inverness despite their recent run of poor results
Archibald has been impressed with Inverness despite their recent run of poor results

The Jags head to the Highlands on a fine run of form and in good spirits after they recorded their second Firhill win of the campaign with victory over Hibs.

It has been a different story recently for John Hughes' side, however, who have struggled to find their feet recently.

After suffering a William Hill Scottish Cup thumping at the hands of Dundee United, they then lost the League Cup final to Aberdeen on penalties and went down 2-0 to Motherwell on SPFL Premiership duty on Wednesday night.

Caley have yet to win at home since Hughes replaced Terry Butcher as boss, but Archibald is wary of writing the Highlanders off despite the change of gaffer.

He said: "They have the same players and play the same way. I went to see them the other night at Motherwell and they played some good stuff.

"I know they lost 2-0, but it is just maybe not happening for them in front of goal at the moment.

"That is the difference - when you get your noses in front it makes it a hell of a lot easier.

"It's surprising they haven't scored in five games as they have Billy McKay in their team. With players like him and Aaron Doran in their team then they are always a threat.

"I know it has been five games but I saw enough the other night to be concerned and we will have to be on our guard."

Archibald heads for the Highlands with a selection headache to ponder as he decides whether to tweak with the side that saw off Hibs last time out.

Kris Doolan came in for the suspended Stuart Bannigan for the clash with Butcher's side at Firhill and played his part in a deserved triumph as the Jags' four-pronged attacking line shone.

Defender Aaron Muirhead has returned to training this week following a spell on the sidelines through injury, but it is touch and go whether the former Annan defender is fit enough to challenge for a place in the team.

Archibald said: "Stuart Bannigan comes back in after he was suspended last week and, as usual, Sean Welsh and Isaac Osbourne are still out.

"Aaron Muirhead has trained the full week and will be in the squad but it might just be too early for him.

"With Stuart back that gives us a decision to make in midfield and that is a good decision to have. It's better than having to throw people in for the sake of it.

"The boys did really well last week, worked really hard, and Kris Doolan just showed how great a professional he is."

After extending their solid run of recent form last weekend, Thistle find themselves just five points adrift of Hibs in the Premiership standings as the top-flight split draws nearer.

The Jags remain embroiled in a four-way battle to avoid the relegation play-off place this term as they bid to retain their berth in the high echelons for another season.

And Archibald admits staying out of the bottom two remains his top goal.

He said: "It changes every week and you don't know where you are going to get to. It would matter to the club, financially it would be great, if we could catch Hibs. But right now if you give me 10th, I would take it."

Meanwhile, Jags fans can still snap up tickets for the clash with Celtic at Firhill next week.

Neil Lennon's side head across Glasgow on Wednesday, March 26 and briefs can be purchased until 5pm on game day.

Adult fan card holders will receive a £5 discount while concessions will get a £1 discount.

Football

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