January jigsaw puzzler for Jags

ALAN ARCHIBALD admits events on and off the field in January will shape the rest of Partick Thistle's campaign.

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Alan Archibald knows coming weeks will be decisive for Jags
Alan Archibald knows coming weeks will be decisive for Jags

The Jags boss is on the lookout for reinforcements to bolster his squad when the transfer window opens next week as the Premiership newcomers attempt to distance themselves from the relegation play-off dogfight this term.

Thistle face Inverness Caley Thistle, Motherwell and Celtic over the festive period before embarking on a huge period that will see them take on bottom-six rivals Ross County, Kilmarnock and St Mirren on successive weekends.

And Archibald knows the coming weeks will be decisive for his side in the long run.

He said: "We have a big January coming up and before that two home games in a short space of time.

"We'll be playing the teams round about us next month, so we know how vital it is to take points from them. I don't think you can ignore what other teams are doing.

"You are well aware of what is happening round about you. We knew the Kilmarnock game was massive at the weekend and it was a sore one to lose after playing so well.

"But we're not asking for any favours from anyone else. We have to go out and start winning games.

"One victory could be enough to spark a run. The mood has been okay, considering we've had such a bad run. We're just not getting the rub of the green."

With just days until the transfer window opens, Archibald has a list of transfer targets as he looks to strengthen his Firhill squad.

A loan move for Brentford's Farid El Alagui is still under consideration and the Jags boss admits he may have to wait to land his top options.

Archibald said: "There has been no progress on the loan move for Farid El Alagui.

"We just made an enquiry to his club and that's as far as it's gone. We've got a few targets out there, but we're waiting for people to make decisions.

"It's down to their parent clubs whether they can go out on loan or not.

"We're looking for good players in all areas of the pitch. We'd like a wee bit of experience if we can get it.

"But they're hard to get, as we found out in the summer.

"Agents aren't throwing players at us. It's a bit different from the summer.

"It's like a property chain. Managers need to see what they're getting in before they know who they can let out. It's a bit frustrating, but we knew that would be the case."

One man who could be at Firhill for the second half of the season is on-loan midfielder Gary Fraser. The former Hamilton Accies kid is currently serving a lengthy suspension, but Thistle are keen to hold on to him.

Archibald said: "We're due to make a call to Bolton about Gary's availability, but we might have to wait until January to speak to him and his agent. We'd love to get him as quickly as possible."

Football

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