Partick Thistle v Aberdeen: We believe we can beat Dons - Archibald

By Richard WilsonBBC Scotland
Alan Archibald
Alan Archibald is the longest-serving manager in the Premiership, having been appointed by Partick in Januray 2013

Alan Archibald has urged his players to believe that they can overcome second-place Aberdeen when the sides meet at Firhill.

Partick Thistle have yet to score against any of the top three sides this season.

They were defeated 1-0 by Hearts on Saturday, but Archibald is trying to keep his players in a positive mindset.

"We've got to look at creating chances and marry that up with a good defensive performance," he said.

"The [top three teams] are different sides when you score against them, you see a reaction. We got that on Tynecastle on Saturday when we put them under a bit of pressure and the crowd starts to turn on them.

"Aberdeen are desperate for the three points to put pressure on Celtic, and if we can get that goal and see how they react, that will give us a massive chance in the game.

"We stressed that to the players, we've been speaking about it and taking the positives from the Hearts game. But we've got to believe that we can go and win. We did it a few years ago against Aberdeen, when we put a good performance in, and we need to do the same again."

After they have faced the top three in succession - they host Celtic on Saturday - Partick play the current bottom three in order. Following the matches against Hamilton, Kilmarnock and Dundee United, their last game before the split is away to Ross County.

Archibald's side is currently six points clear of second-bottom Kilmarnock, and with two games in hand they are well-placed to secure their top-flight status again, but the manager wants his players to remain focused on survival.

"If you secure safety then you'll not be too far away from the top end," Archibald said.

"It's very tough, with the fixtures being as difficult as they are. Also, we had a lot of games, we'll end up playing six in 19 days, which is a big ask for the players.

"We've had some good performances of late. Even on Saturday it was disappointing to lose the game because we deserved at least a point. Hopefully we can take the good things out of that performance into Tuesday night.

"[But] we don't put too much focus on the weekend's game, whether it be a win or a loss, because we've got to try to move on. The games are coming so quickly now and we've just got to make sure that everybody's fit and ready to go, and keeping a positive frame of mind.

"We're at the time of the season when everybody's beating each other and even us playing the top three, other teams have shown that they can beat them. So that's just the way the league is at the moment and it's the same for every manager, they're just trying to get that run of consistency."