THE date is 2 May 1995. Boyzone and Scatman John are jostling for position in the UK charts. Father Ted is two episodes old. And Partick Thistle have just beaten Celtic.

Twenty-three years, 359 Jags appearances and nearly five seasons in the Firhill dugout later, Alan Archibald is still waiting for another victory over the Jags’ Glasgow neighbours.

It has been a long and painful wait, with a 1-1 draw in May last year providing the only respite in a run of 26 Hoops victories.

Archibald has risen all the way up the ranks in that time, from cleaning boots to picking the team, and he is determined to see his side end their dismal run in the fixture during Saturday’s Scottish Cup fifth round encounter at Celtic Park.

“I was 17-years-old when I signed for Partick Thistle and I was a boot boy, carrying the hampers when we last beat Celtic in 1995 a Hampden,” he said.

“It was a long time ago - too long! It’s ridiculous the amount of time since we won a game against them. We were in different leagues for a long spell, but it doesn’t make it any easier for ourselves or the fans.

“It’s only going to get harder, we know that. But we should do better and there’s games in that run where I’ve been in charge that we should have won.

“It’s a disappointing record and hopefully we can put it right. I remember Tommy Smith scoring a late equaliser at Parkhead when I just arrived (in May 1994) and everyone remembers that goal.

“That is the challenge for our players, to try and be a hero and go down in history and it would be particularly huge as it’s a cup tie.

“I don’t remember much about the game in 1995 apart from doing the kit with another trainee and all the players coming in happy after it.

“It was a good group of players at that time. Mental, but good. We had the likes of Steve Pittman, Chic Charnley and Alan Dinnie.

“As a trainee you didn’t want to get on the wrong side of them. If you didn’t have their boots ready they’d let you know about it but it’s different now and society has changed a bit.”

Brendan Rodgers’ side remain on course for a second consecutive Treble, having secured the Betfred Cup back in November as well as racking up an eight-point lead at the summit of the Premiership table.

However, some chinks in the armour have emerged in the last few months and Kilmarnock’s impressive 1-0 league win over the champions on Sunday provided the latest evidence that there are weaknesses to be exploited.

“We’ve produced decent performances at Parkhead but it counts for nothing, albeit we’ve had a point here and there,” said Archibald.

“You want three points or a win to get through to the next round of the cup. It gives you a little bit of hope to the see likes of Kilmarnock winning last week.

“The rest of the teams deserve a bit of credit for upping their game a bit against Celtic this season. It’s a better league this season, it’s tougher, and most clubs have invested in their squads.

“I know they’ve only lost two games but games have been closer.

“There might be a backlash and we had Celtic the last time, when they lost their unbeaten run to Hearts, and we’ll expect them to be looking to put that bad result behind them again.

“While we’re playing a Scottish Premiership rival, there’s a different feel about it and you look forward to the Scottish Cup but whether that takes the pressure off, I don’t know.

“You’d rather have someone outwith your own league but it’s a welcome distraction and we’ll embrace the game. It’s go for broke and we’ll go for the win.”