Thistle set for crucial double header with Dundee United

Steven Lawless went off injured at Inverness on Saturday.
Steven Lawless went off injured at Inverness on Saturday.

Partick Thistle welcome Dundee United to Firhill on Saturday for the first of a double header which could shape the rest of their season.

Next week Alan Archibald’s men will be on the road to Dundee for a Scottish Cup fifth round tie at Tannadice.

But before then the clubs have a potentially even more crucial clash with Premiership points at stake.

When United last visited Firhill in October, Thistle were bottom of the table and without a win - but a 3-0 success saw them leaprog United who have been at the foot of the pile ever since.

Another win on Saturday would give the Jags a 15-point advantage over United, but for the first time since the start of November the Tannadice side go into a match boosted by taking maximum points from their previous game after their 5-1 thumping of Kilmarnock last weekend.

For their part Thistle earned a point from their second goalless draw of the season at Inverness - but Archibald admitted it was far from a classic.

He told the club’s website: “I thought that was awful and a really terrible game to watch. It wasn’t a great game of football by any stretch of the imagination, but we’re ever so pleased to be heading down the road with a point.

“It was a tough shift today and, although we never really got going in the first half, we looked resilient at the back and worked hard to keep the clean sheet.

“The conditions weren’t great and when the wind got up it certainly affected the way the game was played. Every time the ball went high the wind caught it and had a big impact on where it ended up. We never really got going during the first 45 but we did improve in the second and caused them some problems.”

One consolation for Jags was the display of Christie Elliot who replaced the injured Steven Lawless 12 minutes into the second half to make only his second appearance of the season.

Archibald said: “Christie has had a terrible time of it this season but he put that behind him today and gave us a real spark after he came on.

“It’s great to move up a place again but you only have to look at that table to see how tight it is in the bottom half to know that we need to keep the performances up.

“We were certainly more resilient today and I think we defended very well on the whole and positionally we were much better all over the pitch.

“The number one aim was to improve on last week and we certainly did that tonight. We were more organised and kept our shape much better. All in all it gives us a decent platform on which to build going into a massive game against Dundee United.”