Partick Thistle midfielder Ryan Edwards reckons that the club’s hectic December schedule could determine their season, believing this to be a critical point in their campaign.

Thistle currently sit at the bottom of the table, the same position they were in this time last year, before a tremendous run of form starting around Christmas propelled them all the way to a top six finish.

The memory of that run is giving Edwards real hope that today’s game against Hibs will be a platform to emulate such form as they go into eight matches in four weeks before the winter shutdown in January.

“We can take encouragement that we were near the bottom at this time of year before kicking on,” Edwards said.

“Teams have picked up results against some big teams, like Dundee against Rangers, and that shows the league is getting stronger. Teams have strengthened their squad and all credit to them.

“We need to step up even more and I think this month will determine our season. Whether we are playing catch up after January or we are in amongst it.

“We aren’t far away from the teams above us. It’s not nice to be at the bottom and having to rely on kicking on. We need to be more consistent instead of being in this position every year.

“But I can’t wait because we only had two games in November which was strange and frustrating. Everyone involved with the club is looking forward to eight games in December.

“They come thick and fast, training will be lighter because we will be recovering and focusing on the next game. We have a lot of boys coming back from injury which has made training more competitive and lifted everyone’s game.

“That will be good for us going forward because it’s almost half a new team coming back.”

Edwards’ manager Alan Archibald reiterated his midfielder’s enthusiasm for the busy period that lies ahead, and he hopes that he can get some key bodies back in the squad to aid the cause.

“It’s going to be constant throughout December, but we’re looking forward to it,” Archibald said.

“Hopefully we’ll have a couple of more players back going into it and that will help us along the way.

“We’ll need that no doubt. Suspensions start to kick in at this time as well, with your defenders on three or four bookings. They all add up and no doubt we will lose a couple of them as well, so we’ll need everybody.

“Abdul Osman isn’t in with the group yet, we just need to wait until full strength is back in his shoulder. Once that happens he’ll be back in with everyone, but the good thing is that he is out running and doing his CV work, so hopefully it’s just a matter of a week or two once he gets the all clear from the surgeon to join in with full contact.”

Archibald has been frustrated that he hasn’t been able to send his team out to play in his preferred style because of the injury problems they have had, particularly in the full-back areas.

“I think we want to play in a certain way and we’ve not been able to do that this year with our full-backs being missing,” he said.

“We’ve had Blair Spittal and Stevie Lawless filling in there because we’re short, and that has taken a bit of our decent possession play away from us.

“We’ve won a couple of games when we’ve not had 50% possession, and that’s strange for us. Just finding a way to win is the main thing at the moment.”