Avenger Keown set for Gers battle
Jags ace Niall out to wipe out memory of double defeat agony
PARTICK THISTLE are on a revenge mission tomorrow night as they hope to give Rangers a taste of their own medicine.
That was the message from Jags defender Niall Keown who is keen to make up for the late heartache the Gers twice inflicted upon their Glasgow rivals last term.
On both occasions Rangers visited Firhill – now the Energy Check Stadium at Firhill – they came from a goal behind to steal all three points. In fact, all four goals from the Ibrox outfit in the fixtures came in the final 10 minutes.
Thistle are desperate to make amends and Keown said: “It’s a good opportunity for us to put right what went wrong for us last season.
“I didn’t play in the first one but the second game towards the end of last season I remember we were gutted in the way they got their late goals.
“The first one came when they were on the break and the winner was a result of Rangers just piling bodies forward.
“Of course, this is a completely different Rangers team, but that doesn’t mean we don’t want to put things right. It’s a big game for us.
“We’ve had a difficult start in the league, probably the trickiest we possibly could have had. The first few games haven’t been favourable.
“We are not going in with any fear at all. We’re never scared no matter who the opponents are.
“If I remember rightly back to that last game against Rangers, in the first half we could have been two or three up. We showed we could be very effective against them.”
Overcoming their Rangers hoodoo tomorrow night would be good timing given the current predicament faced by manager Alan Archibald’s men.
AT THE moment the Jags sit joint bottom of the Ladbrokes Premiership with just one point from five games.
It is a slow start that has come to be expected from the Maryhill side, and one that isn’t causing panic in the ranks. However, if ever there was a morale booster to settle anxious nerves in the stand, this could be it.
“I’ve heard we start slowly normally but if you look at the fixtures individually then they were never going to be guaranteed wins.
“Hibs away, Celtic, Aberdeen St Johnstone, spread them out throughout the season and lose them and nobody would have batted an eyelid.
“We know what we can do as a group of players. We are all sticking together.”
This is the first of two meetings within the space of a week between the two Glasgow clubs. While tomorrow night is a Premiership date, they will go head to head on Tuesday for a place in the Betfred Cup semi-finals.
Though winning that clash would take them a step closer to a League Cup triumph for only the second time in their history, Keown is not getting carried away. Instead, focusing on kickstarting their league campaign is his primary concern.
“It would be a good springboard for next week if we managed to get a positive result tomorrow,” he said.
“That’s a great opportunity to go far in the cup, it would be fantastic. But we can’t afford to look too far ahead. We know we need to pick up points in the league, and that will be the only thing on our minds.”
Niall Keown was gutted to lose out twice to Rangers last season