WINGER Kallum Higginbotham reckons Chris Erskine's Firhill return can spark Partick Thistle into life.

The talismanic Erskine made his second Jags bow in the defeat to St Johnstone on Tuesday after agreeing a short-term loan deal from Premiership rivals Dundee United.

Erskine was pivotal for Alan Archibald's side when they won the First Division title last term and is the Thistle manager's latest addition to his attacking arsenal following the arrival of Lyle Taylor earlier this month.

Higginbotham is delighted to have the 26-year-old back on board to help the Jags in their battle to beat the drop.

He said: "I wasn't here last year when he had a really good season with Thistle and got his move to United. It is great to have him here.

"He played really well on Tuesday night and was unlucky with a few opportunities he had. I said to him after the game to keep his head up and I am sure the more game time he gets the better he will get.

"When I played against Thistle for Falkirk, he was always dangerous and always the one to watch.

"We have brought him and Lyle in, so hopefully the goals come from those two and we have got Kris Doolan as well.

"Hopefully, the other players can chip in as well, I certainly need to score a lot more and hopefully I can create a lot more as well.

"We need gel quickly and hopefully we can do that."

Erskine was given a warm welcome by the Firhill crowd ahead of the Saints clash, but could not make it a night to remember as Stevie May netted the only goal to extend Thistle's miserable home form this season.

Next on the agenda for the Jags is a trip to relegation rivals St Mirren this weekend and Higginbotham hopes that history will repeat itself as Archibald's side target a re-run of their Paisley triumph in August.

HE said: "I thought we played well the last time we were there, so hopefully we can put in a similar performance and come away with a win.

"It would be a much-needed three points. Most of our points have come away from home but that is not something that is on our minds.

"We just go into the game looking to win it, whether it is home or away.

"It is just unfortunate that we are not winning at home, but hopefully we can get the three points on Saturday."

Thistle head into the Buddies clash knowing victory will take them above Danny Lennon's side in the Premiership standings as the race to avoid the play-off berth heats up.

The Jags are embroiled in a four-way battle alongside the Saints, Ross County and Kilmarnock, but Higginbotham is confident Archibald's side will beat the drop.

He said: "The way the fixtures are, they massively favour the Premiership side. They only play two games and whoever else gets to the final has to play six.

"If you end up in the play-offs and lose to whoever it may be then you deserve to be relegated. I am sure we can go into that game, if they are there, and win. It is not something that is on our minds at the minute."