PARTICK Thistle boss Alan Archibald is desperate to hear the news today that tomorrow's scheduled Ladbrokes Premiership meeting with Hearts will go ahead - but the club are prepared to get the hard hats on and fight the matter to the full with the SPFL in the event the match is cancelled at the 11th hour and they are forced to squeeze another match into an already jam-packed festive fixture schedule.

Work was continuing through the night last night in a final attempt to convince Edinburgh City Council’s assessors that the structure can safely be occupied this lunchtime, and no-one is more keen for that to happen than Thistle. Cancellation could see them play just once in November, with eight games already scheduled for the month of December. Having dealt constructively with Hearts’ request to reverse their home and away fixtures to facilitate the stadium upgrade in the first place, Archibald understandably baulks at the suggestion he should be asked to fit a ninth match into that period and questions whether the issues are financial rather than footballing ones.

“If the game is called off then it would absolutely kill us in terms of fixtures because it would mean just one game in November,” said Archibald. “We helped Hearts out in the first place by reversing the fixtures because that gave us a tough November with three away games to Rangers, Celtic and Hearts. We’ve got eight games in December as it stands and if this game goes then having another one is no use to us. It wouldn’t suit us at all and we’d fight it.

“I’ve been told BetFred Cup games have been played at Tynecastle this season and asked why it can’t be the case on Sunday,” added the Thistle boss, who has Chris Erskine back in contention. “It is probably down to a finance thing but it’s unfair if we’re forced to plan nine games in December just to help Hearts out financially."

The difficulty of the situation for players and coaches is one thing; it is hardly ideal for supporters to find out at less than 24 hours’ notice whether the match will go ahead either. “As far as we’ve been told the game is going ahead so we’ve trained towards that but it’s impossible to avoid the stories,” said Archibald. “We’ve tried to put out the players’ minds but every day you pick up the newspaper or turn on the TV and there’s another story about a possible delay in the stand opening.

“We’re in the same boat as Hearts where we just want the game on and our whole week has been working on the shape of the team to try and win the game,” he added. “It’s probably more important for us for it to go ahead because we don’t have a game next week either. I want the game on so I’m happy to give it as long as we can although I accept there will come a point where it would have to be called off. When I say I would rather the SPFL didn’t step in and make a decision that is from a selfish, football point of view that I want the game on. But it’s not fair on supporters if it’s a late call on Saturday night that it’s off and plans are up in the air.”