Jackie McNamara happy his Partick Thistle stars are in demand

JACKIE McNAMARA knows it is inevitable that other clubs will be impressed with the stunning form of his Partick Thistle stars.

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Stephen O'Donnell is out of contract next May
Stephen O'Donnell is out of contract next May

But the Firhill boss insists it is a good problem to have after the Jags' electrifying start to the campaign.

McNamara's side are currently top of the Irn-Bru First Division and face title rivals Dunfermline in the Scottish Cup fourth round tomorrow.

A number of Thistle's top performers – including Scott Fox, Stephen O'Donnell, Chris Erskine and Kris Doolan – are out of contract in May and can speak to other clubs about Bosman moves come January.

McNamara said: "The ones that are out of contract will speak to their agents. The older ones won't sign just now. They will wait and see what is happening between us and themselves.

"There are ones we are working on, like Steven Craig. I want the best for us, first and foremost.

"It was the same situation last season with Paul Cairney and everyone was panicking that he was going to join Hibs.

"If they do go, it is up to ourselves to find another one. As long as they are going somewhere higher, you are happy for them. Ideally, we would like some money as compensation.

"Cairney is doing well at Hibs, but at the same time guys like Stevie Lawless have come in here and been excellent. You hope that they stay with you.

"Cairney only had one year working with us and I would like to think we helped him get his move, we brought him on with his fitness and added things to his game.

"Hopefully we are helpingthe players on and that they are enjoying it here. I have had a few calls but nothing concrete.

"As it gets closer to January, we will wait and see. Again, it is a good problem to have if the players are generating interest. It is no surprise to me."

Tomorrow's Scottish Cup clash will see the top two in the First Division go head-to-head for the second time in four weeks as they bid to nail a place in the last 16.

Thistle were 5-1 winners at Firhill three weeks ago as they reclaimed pole position in the title race in stunning fashion.

But McNamara knows Jim Jefferies' side will be out for revenge when they return to Glasgow this weekend.

He said: "The game here a couple of weeks ago was a great result for us, but Dunfermline will be hurting from that and they will want to come here and get through to the next round.

"But we have the same aim, we were disappointed to go out of the Scottish Cup in the manner that we did last year (losing to Queen of the South in the fourt round), so we are keen to go on a run.

"It is important in terms of trying to prosper and there is the financial side of things to consider as well.

"It would be good for the fans if we could get a run in another cup competition.

"I am delighted that we are in the final of the Ramsdens Cup, so it would be great if we could go on a wee run in the Scottish Cup as well."

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