ALAN Archibald is confident a spell in Spain will have Partick Thistle in prime shape for the new Premiership campaign.
The Jags have jetted out to the continent for a week-long training camp at the Pinatar Football Centre in Murcia as they gear up for their second shot at Scotland's top flight next term.
As revealed in SportTimes last week, former Gateshead defender Carl Magnay has joined Archibald's squad as he bids to win a deal at Firhill this summer and is likely to get a chance to impress in pre-season matches with Brighton and FC Pinatar.
A series of friendly fixtures await Thistle on their return to Scotland and the Jags boss is determined to make the best possible use of their time in the Spanish sunshine.
Archibald said: "The chairman is friendly with someone who has got a complex out there and he put us in touch and we went to see it. The facilities are second to none.
"We enjoyed the time in Durham last year but we got lucky with the weather. It is different when the weather turns. We got the chance to go to Spain and the complex is terrific. I have been on a few tours in my time and the facilities are right up there.
"It feels better for the players to be away and you are guaranteed the weather. A couple of years ago we got flooded at Catterick.
"It is easy to get to and we know we will have great surfaces there so it ticked all the boxes for us. It has got everything we were looking for."
Thistle returned to pre-season action last week as Archibald put his squad through their paces at their new Garscube training base in Glasgow.
The countdown is on to the start of the new Premiership campaign as the Jags look to build on a solid 10th-place finish last term.
And Archibald is eager to fine-tune his team in the coming weeks to ensure Thistle can set their sights even higher come the big kick-off.
He said: "We will work them harder this week and do some work with the ball and be more technical with them. They always train well.
"We have them solely to ourselves, we don't need to do anything else, so we have the time to work on things. We can look at how we want to shape the team and work on aspects we are looking to improve.
"We need to work on different systems and formations. We struggled if we wanted to go and change the game halfway through last season, they struggled to get a grasp of what we wanted from them at times.
"As a player, I didn't think it was a hard thing to grasp.
"It is something we are going to work on so we can change the shape and make sure the players know what to do in every formation we want to play."