The Greenock stopper is available again after being sidelined for several weeks through injury and is in contention to feature when Allan Moore's side face Cowdenbeath tomorrow.
McLaughlin has been one of the Ton's key men during their Irn-Bru First Division title challenge thus far but knows he can't expect to walk back into the starting line-up.
He said: "I am back training and available for Saturday but the boys are doing really well just now so I might not even get in the squad.
"The team has been great in the last few games and, to be honest, I would be surprised if the gaffer changes the team.
"The good thing about him is that if you come in and do well, he won't take you out the team because someone else is available again and fair play to him for doing that.
"It can be frustrating if you are the one missing out but it makes you work harder in training to get back in the team.
"I am available again and hopefully I can get a game but I can't be disappointed if I don't, I just need to work hard to try and get back in."
He added: "We have eight games left and if we want to go on and win the league, we will need to win most of them.
"Thistle have hit a bit of form and got their games in hand and we are only two points ahead."