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Banningan wants Partick to ‘get monkey off back’

Stuart Bannigan: Positives. Picture: SNS

Stuart Bannigan: Positives. Picture: SNS

  • by ALASDAIR LAWRIE
 

Partick Thistle midfielder Stuart Bannigan is convinced a first Scottish Premiership home victory will come if Alan Archibald’s men keep playing the way they have this season.

Scotland Under-21 international Bannigan said: “It’s got to come. There have been quite a few games this season where we have probably played the better and had the better chances but we have not taken them. That’s part of this league, teams punish you for one mistake.”

Thistle have picked up most of their points on the road but they have two chances this week to claim victory at Firhill when they host Inverness Caledonian Thistle today and Motherwell on Sunday.

Thistle have dominated games against the likes of Kilmarnock and Hearts at home and not picked up full points.

Bannigan said: “Everybody is talking about it and we get asked about this every single week. We need to do it and get the monkey off our back.

“The players don’t really think about it when we go on the pitch, we just go into it game by game. I’m happy with the way the team are playing just now. We are all young boys trying to play the game the right way. We go into each game looking to win.”

A six-game run without a league win – since the last time they played Inverness – has seen Thistle drop to tenth, but Bannigan believes there are many positives to take from a return to the top flight.

“There have only been a couple of times when we have been convincingly beaten. All the other games we have competed well. So we have to take positives from that. And there are a lot of points to play for,” he said.

Inverness used that October loss against their Glasgow namesakes as a springboard to, by and large, better things.

However, manager John Hughes believes his team’s over-eagerness was their only major fault during his first defeat as manager.

Caley Thistle are today looking to bounce back from a loss to Aberdeen, but they started that process when they pushed the Dons all the way after hitting three second-half goals in their 4-3 defeat.

Hughes felt the players were the victims of their desperation to get back in the game when they conceded four goals in little over 20 first-half minutes.

“Their only crime was they tried too hard once we went a goal down,” Hughes said.

“Aberdeen scored against the run of play and once they did that, give credit where it’s due, Aberdeen were clinical, but we lost our shape because we were chasing the game.

“If that’s our worst crime, it’s not the worst thing in the world. It tells you they have got character.

“Once we got them in at half-time and settled them down a bit and gave them some instructions, they were a lot better. They restored a lot of pride.” Fall-out from the defeat included a shoulder injury for skipper Richie Foran. The midfielder will miss the festive period and additional tests are required to determine how long the Irishman will be out.

“He will be out for a couple of weeks anyway,” Hughes said. “We are just hoping it’s not worst-case scenario and it needs an operation. We will know when we get it scanned.

“I really feel for him, and Richie will probably tell you himself he is probably his own worst enemy. He was in a position where he shouldn’t really be – challenging in the box – but I don’t think you can take that out of Richie. He’s combative, he is all over the place and he wants to win.”

 

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