SCOTT FOX insists he is willing to sacrifice shut-outs in the pursuit of points as Partick Thistle bid to safeguard their Premiership place this term.

The Jags keeper recorded only his third clean sheet of the season as Alan Archibald's side beat Hearts 2-0 on Sunday to end their recent barren run.

Victory at Tynecastle was the first time Thistle have tasted success since seeing off Inverness in October and moved them 20 points clear of the Jambos at the foot of the standings.

The 5-1 thumping by Motherwell last month blots Thistle's recent defensive record but they were far more solid in the defeat to Celtic last week as boss Archibald utilised Aaron Muirhead in a midfield role in front of defensive duo Conrad Balatoni and Gabriel Piccolo.

The same formation worked well in the capital as Hearts were defeated but keeper Fox insists heading back along the M8 with three points was more important than the Tynecastle shut-out.

He said: "We have two clean sheets in the last four games and that is encouraging.

"Obviously the Motherwell result was disappointing and we could have taken something from Celtic as well.

"It is all about getting results, though. I will be happy if we win 5-4 every week.

"It is nice to get clean sheets but getting points is the most important thing.

"We are more solid, the formation suits us and the boys are playing well.

"Aero has been playing just in front of the back four and did really well for us in the last two games.

"Being a defender, he knows what it is like and knows what is required. If you defend well and you defend properly then you won't concede goals and that is what we need to do.

"The partnership between Conrad and Gabby is still fairly new but they are learning together all the time.

"The gaffer has put faith in them and they have repaid that with the way they have worked, their attitude and their performances as well."

Having seen bottom six rivals Ross County, Kilmarnock and St Mirren all find their feet in recent weeks, Thistle's long-awaited triumph came at just the right time after an extended winless run.

Just seven points separate seventh-placed St Johnstone and County in 11th in the standings as the Jags prepare for a huge spell that will see them go head-to-head with their league rivals.

Fox said: "It was a win for us on Sunday and we got a clean sheet too so it was a big step in the right direction. It was a massive three points for us.

"It doesn't feel that long ago since we won but we knew how important it was to get the three points on Sunday.

"We have been doing well in games but winning is the main thing and we were delighted to do that at Tynecastle.

"We don't want to be left adrift so it was a massive result for us at the weekend, results had gone against us in the last couple of weeks.

"But it is up to us to make sure we are safe, we are not relying on other teams to drop points.

"We have a couple of big games coming up and we need to kick on now.

"Beating Hearts is a step in the right direction but we need to keep it going.

"We need to keep going and keep putting points on the board.

"It wasn't our best performance of the season on Sunday, we had to grind it out.

"But that is something that we haven't been able to do much this season so it was satisfying to win like that."