Craigen's backing Jags to motor after Dons victory

JAMES CRAIGEN hopes Partick Thistle can use the Firhill feelgood factor as the springboard to Highland success this weekend.

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James Craigen and Motherwell's James McFadden battling for the ball in the game on December 29. Craigen is keen to get back in the Jags side
James Craigen and Motherwell's James McFadden battling for the ball in the game on December 29. Craigen is keen to get back in the Jags side

The Jags ended their home hoodoo in superb style last Saturday with a 3-1 win over Aberdeen to leave the Premiership relegation play-off zone.

Next on the agenda for Alan Archibald's side is a trip to Dingwall tomorrow as they bid for their third win of the season at the far end of the A9 after wins at Ross County and Inverness Caley Thistle already this term.

Victory over the Dons ended a long winless run for the Jags and Craigen admits it was a timely shot in the arm as Thistle look to secure their top-flight status this season.

He said: "It has been really good this week. It was a great win for us last weekend and everyone is looking forward to the Ross County game now.

"Hopefully we can build on the performance and result and get another three points.

"Our heads didn't go down when we weren't winning, but it is always nice to get a win, it gives you more confidence.

"We have got the win at home as well now and hopefully we can win a few more games before the end of the season.

"It is hard when you are playing well in games, but not getting the rewards for it, however we have a good dressing room and we didn't let it affect us."

Archibald's side head into the County clash ninth in the standings after Derek Adams' side crashed to a 3-0 defeat to Caley in the Highland derby on Tuesday night.

The Jags are just two points adrift of eighth-placed Kilmarnock, who host relegation rivals St Mirren this weekend, as the campaign gets set to enter the final stretch.

Keeping their Premiership place is top of Thistle's to-do list after promotion from the First Division last season.

But midfielder Craigen knows they don't have to settle for just avoiding 11th spot as they look for a flying finish to the campaign.

He said: "It is another really big game for us tomorrow. Kilmarnock are playing St Mirren and something has got to give there so we want to make the most of it and win up at Dingwall.

"Hopefully we can get another three points and move further up the league and away from the play-off position.

"The games against the likes of County are going to be really vital for us, you need to be beating the teams around you in the table.

"County lost in midweek to Inverness, but they will be right up for it tomorrow, they know it is a massive game for them as well.

"First and foremost, we want to try to avoid finishing 11th. If we can put a few wins together we could move further up the table.

"But our focus for the moment is making sure we are still in this league next season. We haven't won back-to-back league games this season so it would be a great time to start."

Craigen missed out on the Dons triumph last weekend as boss Archibald selected Stuart Bannigan, Gary Fraser and Prince Buaben as his midfield trio at Firhill.

It was one of the few times the 23-year-old hasn't featured this term as he has held down a regular berth in the Jags' starting line-up.

And Craigen is determined to win back his place in Archibald's plans as Thistle gear up for their County clash.

He said: "It is always disappointing when you don't play but that is football.

"You have to deal with situations when they happen and work hard in training to try and get yourself back in.

"I think I was needing a wee break. I played a lot of games.

"I am working hard in training and determined to get myself back in.

"I am feeling good and looking to get back in again."

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