Partick V Inverness CT at Firhill Stadium : Match Preview

10 March 2017
Partick V Inverness CT - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game live.

Niall Keown picking up defensive tips from Partick management team

Niall Keown admits playing under Partick Thistle's management team of Alan Archibald and Scott Paterson has been an ideal learning process for a young central defender.

The 21-year-old has only conceded two goals in the six matches he has played since arriving on loan from Reading in January.

And Keown feels playing under two centre-backs in Archibald and assistant Paterson has helped develop his game.

"That's been great," he said ahead of Saturday's visit of Ladbrokes Premiership bottom club Inverness.

"I think it helps as a player if the manager and assistant played in your position. They find it easy to give you tips and can look out for certain qualities in your game.

"They have been great with me ever since I came in. The manager has shown a lot of faith in me.

"I had bad luck with injuries in the last couple of years and hadn't played a massive amount of football, so he has shown a lot of faith in me and Scott has been great as well."

The defender also has expert opinion away from the club in father Martin Keown, the former Arsenal and England centre-back and now television pundit.

"He's got an opinion on everything, that's the problem," the Firhill player joked. "No, he watches whenever he can. He obviously has commitments on some Saturdays.

"He will give me a few little pointers if he feels like he needs to but he lets me figure things out for myself. He's happy if I'm happy."

The Jags have doubts over Danny Devine and Christie Elliott after the pair sustained knocks during last weekend's defeat by Aberdeen. On-loan Crawley winger Jason Banton (groin) could be involved but long-term absentees Sean Welsh (foot), Ryan Scully (shoulder), Stuart Bannigan and Gary Fraser (both knee) remain out.

Inverness defender Kevin McNaughton admits he thought about quitting after suffering the worst injury of his career.

However, the 34-year-old realised he had a duty to help lift his team-mates as well as himself as he got over the shock.

The former Aberdeen and Cardiff player ruptured his Achilles in a Highland derby against Ross County in August on his seventh appearance for Caley Thistle.

He was back on the bench during the defeat by Celtic earlier this month and is pushing for more involvement when his bottom-of-the-table side travel to Firhill on Saturday.

McNaughton said: "It's the worst I've had, probably by some distance. Previously, I think the most I was out was two or three months.

"It is tough mentally. You just have to get to grips with it.

"In the first month after my injury, my head was all over the place. I probably thought about retiring and things like that.

"It can be pretty soul-destroying in the first few months of your injury, but I tried to keep myself active, help out the lads and try to keep my own spirits up as well.

"There was no point in me walking about the club dour-faced when we're in the difficult situation we are. You try to play a part in keeping the spirit and morale up about the place."

Inverness have Ross Draper and Carl Tremarco suspended, while Aaron Doran (knee) has been ruled out for the season. Jake Mulraney (hamstring), Ryan Esson (groin) and Josh Meekings (knee) remain absent and Lewis Horner (knee) is still recovering.

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