ALAN Archibald didn’t know whether to laugh or cry when watching Hearts put four goals past Celtic to end their unbeaten run on Sunday.

What the show at Tynecastle proved was that the champions can be got at if the opposition are at their best and Partick Thistle, who are at Parkhead tonight, have actually given those Invincibles as good a game as any on their run.

But Partick manager Archibald is also keenly aware that when a previously unbeatable team eventually lose a match, they tend to take their frustrations out on their next opponent which so happens to be his team.

Archibald said: “I think there's a realisation that we've seem teams like Celtic get angry before, but there was weaknesses there and I think that gives everyone a bit of hope that you can maybe hurt them if you get everything right.

“Craig Levein was spot on before the game when he said he needed Celtic to have an off day and Hearts to have a really good day. And that's what happened because Hearts were fantastic and Celtic did have a bit of an off day. We will probably need the same.”

But, of course, there will be fear, certainly among the Thistle fans, that Celtic will be out to make up for what happened on Sunday in front of their own supporters.

Archibald said: “I don't think it is a fear but there is a realisation that could happen. There has been a reaction after some of their European games after heavy defeats. It didn't affect them the next weekend.

“We are aware of that - Celtic are very professional in the manner they go about their business. They said they would reset and go again. We will just prepare the way we always do and won't change too much."

Thistle weren't supposed to be bottom of the league, again, by the time Santa was preparing for his night shift.

This was to be a new era after their top six finish last time but Archibald has not been able to call upon too many key players in recent months, and that has hurt.

He said: “We didn't expect to be in this position but there has been a real lack of consistency. The only thing that has been consistent has been defensive errors both collectively and individually that have killed us in a lot of the game. So it has been a real struggle this year.

"I don't think they are running on empty, the problem is all our options are at the front end of the pitch. The back end of the pitch and midfield, we have not been able to change it. I wouldn't say we are running on empty. We have just got to go again and regroup after a disappointing Saturday."

In Martin Woods, Thistle have a player who has scored against Celtic in what was a famous win for his former club Ross County.

The Dingwall men beat Ronnie Deila’s team in the semi-final of the League Cup two seasons ago, with the now Firhill man scoring what proved to be a vital the equaliser.

Woods said: That was a good day in the semis at Hampden, hopefully we can replicate that but it’ll be a big ask.

“My goal was a penalty, it was a long wait after Efe Ambrose got sent off and they made a sub, so it lasted forever. But I eventually got to hit it and put it away.

“It was a great day and we drew with them another twice that season. But they’re a different animal now. They’d a bad result on Sunday but what they’ve done over the last year and a half has been unbelievable."

Thistle were appalling in Dundee at the weekend. Their 3-0 defeat was well deserved and even a slightly misfiring Celtic would go to town on them if a few more levels cannot be found for tonight’s match.

Wood said: “I'm not pulling wool over anyone’s eyes – if we go to Celtic Park and get a result it’ll be a shock.

“The whole club will be gearing up to turning it round to get a good result against us and get back on track. So it’s up to us to spoil that party.”