McNamara: Erskine can assist Jags bridge gap over to SPL

JACKIE McNAMARA today urged Chris Erskine to continue turning on the style at Partick Thistle.

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Chris Erskine's consistency has improved
Chris Erskine's consistency has improved

After a frustrating couple of weeks for the Jags and their talismanic forward, Falkirk were put to the sword last Saturday as the striker bagged a double in an impressive 4-1 victory.

The Thistle star stole the show at Firhill as he headed home a Steven Lawless cross in the first half before embarking on a terrific run and clinching the win with a delicate lob over Bairns goalkeeper Michael McGovern.

On his day, Erskine is almost unplayable in the Irn-Bru First Division and McNamara is keen to see his maverick attacker hit top form on a regular basis.

He said: "When we first took over, Squiddy (Erskine) didn't play that often.

"The funny thing about him is his consistency and I think that has improved this year.

"I said to him a few weeks ago that we were going to rest him because we have relied heavily on him and Lawless to create things for us and score goals.

"He can't play well every week but if he keeps trying then things will happen for him.

"On Saturday he did a great job for the team chasing back and going up for headers. He was great for us."

The only down side from Saturday's Bairns triumph was a nasty injury to Lawless following a collision with McGovern.

He will have surgery today to fix a broken cheekbone and faces several weeks out.

McNamara said: "The wee man has been a great player for us since he has been here. He is a big part of our team.

"I thought he was doing well on Saturday before that horrible clash. Hopefully we can have him back as soon as possible.

"We have different kinds of players at the club and we have different options to come in and replace him.

"Stevie will play in the hole where he can turn defenders and creates and scores goals. It is a big blow to lose him."

The loss of Lawless will force the Jags boss to change his attacking trio for the visit of Cowdenbeath tomorrow as they look to rebuild momentum in the title race after a poor festive period saw them drop five points behind league leaders Morton.

McNamara said: "We look to win every game but it hasn't worked out that way of late.

"I haven't been disappointed and angry at our performances. It has come down to us taking, or not taking, our chances.

"Teams like Dumbarton, Airdrie and Cowdenbeath are fighting for their lives trying to get away from the bottom of the table.

"They are giving all they have got, chasing lost causes and going right until the end. That is what we need to match.

"We conceded a sloppy goal at Dumbarton and these wee things can be so crucial so it's important we start well."

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