Partick V Dundee at Firhill Stadium : Match Preview

22 April 2016
Partick V Dundee - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game live.

Partick boss Archibald still not taking top-flight survival for granted

Partick Thistle manager Alan Archibald insists Ladbrokes Premiership survival is their immediate priority, despite just missing out on the top six.

Thistle were a goal away from making the top six, but could not get an equaliser at Ross County before the split.

They host Dundee on Saturday with a nine-point cushion over second-bottom Kilmarnock, but Archibald wants his players to make sure they do not get complacent with their top-flight status.

"Our target is to get safe as quickly as we can, and then get seventh," he said. "I think Dundee will be the same. They have probably had a similar week to us when they were down last week.

"Both them and us are the same, with Inverness and probably Hamilton, trying to get seventh spot. But first and foremost we need to get ourselves safe."

Thistle finished eighth last term after a strong end to the campaign and Archibald wants them to improve on that placing.

"The last couple of seasons we have gone into the split really well and this is the aim this season as well, to go into this split unbeaten, put some good performances in, get safe as quickly as we can and start building for next season," he said.

"Until we get safe and we know where we are going to be position-wise, it delays some of our plans."

Partick pair Callum Booth and Dan Seaborne are suspended while Tomas Cerny is unlikely to return from a foot injury so Ryan Scully will continue to deputise in goal.

Archibald is optimistic that Freddie Frans (ankle) and Sean Welsh (illness) will be available, while Stuart Bannigan (knee) remains out.

Dundee boss Paul Hartley is unable to name a full bench at Firhill with a number of players missing through suspension and injury.

Julen Etxabeguren will miss the game because of a ban while fellow defender Thomas Konrad is ill and midfielder Nicky Low's season is over due to an ankle injury.

Striker Rory Loy remains out with an ankle injury, left-back Daryll Meggatt is out with a knock while a couple of youngsters who might have been able to come in are unavailable through unspecified injuries, with long-term absentee James McPake (knee) still on the sidelines.

Despite the problems mounting up, Hartley believes Dundee are "a much better team" this season despite the table offering evidence to the contrary.

The Dens Park club finished sixth in their return to the top flight last year but the 2-1 defeat at Hamilton in their last outing means they sit in seventh place and their last five games will be against bottom-half opposition.

However, ahead of the trip to Partick, Hartley analysed the season in a positive mood.

"I think we are a much better team," he said.

"Some of the football at times has been excellent, it is just about finding that consistency and hopefully we can learn from that in terms of next season.

"Last season we really struggled for goals but this season we have been excellent with the likes of Kane Hemmings, Rory Loy, Greg Stewart, young Craig (Wighton) coming through and Gary Harkins, that has been a real pleasing aspect.

"We just missed out. There were too many draws that have cost us getting into the top six, 14 draws which is too many.

"So we are disappointed not to get in but the progress as a team and the club as a whole has taken a couple of years to get it sorted."

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