Thistle aim for title with second bite of cherry

Partick Thistle manager Alan Archibald. Picture: SNS

Partick Thistle manager Alan Archibald. Picture: SNS

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PARTICK Thistle missed the chance to clinch the Irn-Bru First Division title on their own patch on Tuesday night when they were held to a 0-0 draw by Raith Rovers.

They are away from Firhill this afternoon, but the trip to Falkirk represents another chance for Thistle to get their hands on the championship –and it’s one player/manager Alan Archibald doesn’t want to slip through his fingers again.

“It was disappointing not to clinch the league in front of our own fans on Tuesday against Raith Rovers,” said Archibald, whose side only need a point today. “We have another chance now against Falkirk but the Raith game acted as a great warning that teams are not going to sit back and let you celebrate.”

A large travelling support is expected to make the trip through to the Falkirk Stadium. Partick have been allocated the normal North Stand away end but this only accommodates 2,000 fans and so a section of the Main Stand has also been set aside as an overspill area.

Falkirk manager Gary Holt has told his players to revel in trying to prevent Partick’s title party, then make sure it is they who are trying to land the First Division prize next season. Holt knows from his experiences as a player what it is like to watch another team secure promotion, but also the feeling of achieving that feat himself.

He was part of the Norwich City side that lost their play-off final to Birmingham City in 2002 in a painful penalty-kick decider, but then went on to help earn the club a place in the Premiership two seasons later. Holt said: “I won the league at Norwich, when we won the Championship, and they’re great occasions.

“We went to Crewe for the last game of the season when we knew we had won the league and had been promoted. The party atmosphere was brilliant and it was a good game. And we’re hoping we can make it a good game on Saturday and we can get the positive result, because the players will be wanting to prevent Partick from winning the title against them.

“There have been plenty of occasions when I’ve played in big games that you savour and think, ‘I want more of this and I want to be on the successful side of it’, rather then being in a guard of honour, clapping people on to the pitch.”

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