KRIS DOOLAN reckons the SPFL Premiership break has come at just the right time for Partick Thistle as they look to regroup following the defeat to Hearts.
Alan Archibald's side crashed to a 4-2 loss to the crisis-hit capital club to drop to 11th in the top flight standings following St Mirren's victory over Motherwell.
The next five games will determine who will secure their Premiership status for next season and who will have to sweat it out through the play-offs at the end of the campaign, with Thistle playing their first post-split fixture against fellow relegation battlers Kilmarnock on April 19.
The Jags are not in action this weekend due to the William Hill Scottish Cup semi-finals and Doolan is keen to make the most of their break as they bid to bounce back sooner rather than later.
He said: "The break is probably coming at a good time.
"It can always go one of two ways, we could have come away with a victory and want to get another game quickly but the way it's gone we need to go away and regroup.
"We need to use the break to our advantage - get everyone back in training, get everyone's spirits back up and go into the next game with a bit if confidence.
"The one thing I do know is that we need to be ready for some very important games.
"We know how massive every match is between now and the end of the season.
"We need to go away, use the break to work as hard as we possibly can, then come back into the remainder of the games fighting."
Doolan looked to have set Thistle on the road to a crucial three points at the weekend when he fired Archibald's side ahead after just five minutes.
But it was to turn into an afternoon to forget at Firhill. The Jambos hit four goals without reply before Jordan McMillan netted a late consolation for the Jags and Doolan was frustrated with one of Partick's poorest performances of the campaign.
"It was a really disappointing result," he told ptfc.co.uk.
"To start the game so well and get an early goal, our tails were up, but to then come off after a result like that it's just not good enough.
"When you start a game like that you should be kicking on. I think we need to learn that.
"If we do get off to a good start we need to either manage the game and not push to get another one or make sure we do score another on top of that. We were punished [on Saturday] for some poor mistakes.
"You can see Hearts are fighting for their lives, like we are. Every point is vital for them like it is with us. I think you can see that in their play but from our point of view we didn't do enough."