Conrad Balatoni:Partick Thistle will attack Celtic

Conrad Balatoni is all smiles as he looks ahead to Partick Thistle's clash with Celtic. Picture: SNS

Conrad Balatoni is all smiles as he looks ahead to Partick Thistle's clash with Celtic. Picture: SNS

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CONRAD Balatoni believes the best form of defence will be attack against Celtic today as Partick Thistle do not possess the mentality or philosophy to sit in and frustrate.

The combative defender knows there will be a real edge to the Glasgow derby as Celtic only hold a slender two-point lead over Aberdeen, who can to go top before the Firhill action gets under way at 5:30pm.

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He hopes Thistle can capitalise on the fact that Celtic have failed to win their last two matches.

However, the Maryhill men are stretched with Jordan McMillan, Frederic Frans, Jake Carroll, Sean Welsh, Abdul Osman and probably Stuart Bannigan all missing.

Balatoni said: “I don’t think we have the type of player that we can be defensive. We always go out and try to express ourselves and the manager encourages us to enjoy it.

“A lot of the boys like to play football. We have had plaudits over the past year and a half from doing that and I don’t think we will change.

“We went to Celtic Park recently and did well. We normally give them a good game – apart from the League Cup tie when we were thrashed.

“Every other time we have played them it has been a narrow encounter and hopefully we can come out on top this time. We have to be careful when we press and we can maybe give them the ball for a bit but when we get it we have to retain it and try to cause them problems.”

Manager Alan Archibald said: “This is the worst time for your squad to be stretched and we have been hit very hard and it is players from the same area which is hard to cope with. We will just need to shuffle things around but we believe we have enough quality still to hurt Celtic.”

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