Partick Thistle must be wary of Ayr, warns Archibald

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Partick Thistle manager Alan Archibald is warning his men that their first-round Scottish League Cup tie against Ayr United at Firhill tonight will be harder than the SPFL opener against Dundee United last Friday if they are not up for the game.

Archibald’s side impressed in the 0-0 draw in front of live TV cameras and a big Firhill crowd, and now Thistle players have to handle a drop in attention against Ayr. Archibald explained: “There was a huge amount of interest last week with a lot of intensity about our game with Dundee United and the players responded by putting in a really good performance.

“They now have to do that in a game that is a bit lower key and it will be a really tough game if we do not go about things in the right manner.

“I was delighted with the effort that was put in on Friday and I am looking for the same level against an Ayr side that has been put together well by Mark Roberts. We had them watched against Queen’s Park recently and know that they are a strong side going forward.”

Jordan McMillan is still not ready to play after a pre-season injury, with Steven Lawless and Aaron Muirhead doubts.

Roberts’ tally of nearly 50 goals for Thistle means he is in line for a good reception, and he said: “I played with a few teams in my career but I was made to feel right at home at Partick.”

The 37-year-old is not expecting a winning return, saying: “I have been back four or five times as a player and have won once but I know we are massive underdogs to win this one.”

Ayr are without Robbie Crawford after the SFA confirmed his two-game ban for being sent off in a friendly against AEL Limassol but again include 16-year-old winger Alan Forrest – younger brother of Celtic’s James.