Partick V Hearts at Firhill Stadium : Match Preview

24 February 2017
Partick V Hearts - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game live.

Liam Lindsay keen to concentrate on stopping goals rather than scoring them

Partick Thistle centre-back Liam Lindsay admits he has been taking some stick from his team-mates since his flurry of goals dried up - but he is much more satisfied with their run of clean sheets.

The defender scored his sixth and most recent goal of the season in a 3-1 victory over Ross County on December 23 but he has helped Thistle to six clean sheets in eight matches since then.

The Jags are looking to keep a third consecutive clean sheet when they host Hearts in the Ladbrokes Premiership on Saturday and that is the only hat-trick that Lindsay is concerned with.

The 21-year-old said: "Goals are just a wee bit of icing on the top but I would take a clean sheet over a goal any day. I am on a wee drought just now and I missed a bit of a sitter last Saturday.

"I'm getting a bit of stick because I have been giving it out to people so I need to take the stick, mostly from Steven Lawless. So I need to get back on the goals."

Lindsay revealed management team Alan Archibald and Scott Paterson - two central defenders themselves - had been working hard with him and his fellow centre-backs to enforce the shut-outs.

He said: "We have been working on it in training a lot. At the start of the season we were leaking goals a wee bit. I don't know if that was just due to new partnerships and me and Danny (Devine) are quite young, but we have come through it."

Utility player Christie Elliott returns to the Partick squad after serving a two-match but midfielder Sean Welsh, who dropped out of the squad last weekend with a foot injury, will be out for a further eight to 12 weeks after undergoing surgery. Long-term absentees Ryan Scully (shoulder), Stuart Bannigan and Gary Fraser (both knee) remain out.

Hearts head coach Ian Cathro admits he and his players have to win back the trust of the Tynecaste fans.

The 30-year-old is less than three months into management but Wednesday's 3-1 derby defeat by Hibernian in the William Hill Scottish Cup fifth round has already proved a watershed moment.

Cathro accused his players of lacking fight and failing to do the basics at Easter Road and he wants a major reaction against Partick.

He said: "It was an entirely unacceptable performance and one of the worst days that I expect to go through.

"What we have to do is deal properly with what's ahead of us and very, very quickly give people reasons to trust us again, trust the performance that we give for the club, trust all of us in every single action in the game, and start immediately giving everyone reasons to look forward to what we do from here on in.

"We have all got a very important job to do for everyone come three o'clock on Saturday."

Strikers Bjorn Johnsen (back) and Rory Currie (bruising) are doubts to face Partick and midfielder Don Cowie (ribs) remains sidelined. Prince Buaben is still building up his fitness after a groin problem and long-term absentees John Souttar (Achilles) and Callum Paterson (knee) are also out.

Source: PAR