STUART Bannigan is determined to help Partick Thistle pick up their first league win at home this season when they play Aberdeen.
The Jags made Firhill a fortress as they won the First Division title last season and Bannigan is well aware that producing the results again in front of their own fans could be crucial to Scottish Premiership survival this term.
The midfielder said: “Last year we had a great home record and won 80 or 90 per cent at home. That helped us on to winning the title, so getting the home wins are really important. The crowd here has been fantastic.”
Thistle have picked up eight points from five games and are fourth in the table ahead of the weekend action and Bannigan added: “Our main aim is just to stay up but we will try to win as many games as we can and keeping looking upwards.
“It’s still early in the season but we have had a couple of very good results and we have played good football, which is the most important thing.”
Defender Conrad Balatoni is Partick’s only doubt with a hamstring injury.
Dons manager Derek McInnes has had to add two key players to his injury list. Skipper Russell Anderson fractured his hand in a training ground incident, while forward Niall McGinn has bone bruising on his foot.
Midfielders Willo Flood (hamstring), Barry Robson and Chris Clark (both knee) remain on the sidelines although forward Josh Magennis and winger Jonny Hayes return.
McInnes believes Thistle are a welcome addition to the top flight but will be looking to end their good run of form today. He watched the Jags regularly as they battled their way to the First Division title and he said: “Thistle have been very good so far but I am not surprised. I watched a lot of them when they were in the First Division and thought that they had a lot of players capable of playing in the top league.
“So I am glad to see them back in the SPFL. They will be tough opponents, but we can win. We’ve had an okay start to the season. I feel that in five of the six games we have played this season, we have been the better team and I feel there is more to come from us.”