Erskine retraces his steps to find path to first-team football

CHRIS ERSKINE admits he had his heart set on a return to Partick Thistle as soon as he found out his former club were interested in him.

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Partick Thistle's January signings Gary Fraser, Chris Erskine, Lyle Taylor and Lee Mair prepare to fight for Premiership safety
Partick Thistle's January signings Gary Fraser, Chris Erskine, Lyle Taylor and Lee Mair prepare to fight for Premiership safety

The former Jags star sealed his Firhill comeback yesterday by putting pen-to-paper on a loan deal that will keep him with Alan Archibald's side until the end of the season.

Since making his summer switch to Dundee United to join former Jags boss Jackie McNamara, Erskine has struggled to recapture the form that saw him shine on the way to Thistle's First Division glory last season.

The forward is determined to turn on the style once again after being reunited with Archibald and his title-winning team-mates.

He said: "I think it has been on for a few weeks.

"I spoke to the gaffer at United when I wasn't featuring and he mentioned that a couple of teams were asking for me to go on loan. At the time, he said I wasn't going.

"I haven't played a lot of football there for a few reasons, I had a wee injury and didn't do well when I was in.

"It was something I was looking for, I knew I had to get out and get games somewhere.

"I could have gone a couple of other places but I haven't played a lot of football and that is my main thing, to come and play games.

"I think it will help me that I know the manager and the players and the fans know what I can do as well, which takes a bit of weight off my shoulders.

"I think this was the best place to come."

Erskine was an instrumental part of Thistle's crowning glory last season as he netted 16 times and won rave reviews for a series of superb showings.

He returns to Firhill with the Jags embroiled in a battle to beat the drop and the 26-year-old admits retaining their Premiership status would top last season's heroics.

He said: "That was probably the aim at the start of the season, to stay in the league.

"If that is the case at the end of the season then it is job done.

"The First Division is hard, it is one of those leagues where everyone can beat everyone.

"But everybody wants to play in the top league.

"It would be a bigger achievement if we stay up."

Erskine could make his second Thistle debut when Archibald's side host St Johnstone tonight as the Jags set their sights on eighth place in the standings.

But he admits his return to Firhill is likely to be a short-term arrangement.

He said: "I went to United to be a success and that is still my aim.

"It hasn't worked out for me so far but I am hoping that if I do well here I can prove to Jackie that I should be part of his plans.

"He said to go and try and get the form he knows I can get back.

"He wants me to go and play and get back to what I was doing last year."

Football

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