GARY Caldwell’s first match as manager of Partick Thistle was a 1-0 defeat at Alloa, but one of the new arrivals at the club since then says that the Jags will be going all out to ensure that doesn’t happen again this weekend.

Gary Harkins rejoined Thistle for a second spell at Firhill at the start of the January, and the club have yet to taste defeat since he and a host of others were brought to the club during the transfer window.

And the way that Thistle dug out a win away to East Fife in the Scottish Cup last weekend has given the veteran midfielder even further cause to believe that Thistle can keep their impressive recent form going.

“We know it’s going to be a really tough game,” Harkins said.

“It probably won’t be one for the purists given where we both are in the league, but we have shown that we can go to these difficult venues where conditions might not be ideal and grind out a result.

“Hopefully it won’t be quite as bad as last week where we had a hurricane to contend with as well at East Fife, but we are just as determined to be leaving Alloa with the win.

“Our form has been really good since the turn of the year. Since the new lads have come in it’s been great, and the atmosphere at the club has been brilliant too.

“We’re on a good run and we are just desperate to keep that going and keep that good feeling around the place for as long as possible.

“For me, the manager is doing a great job and I’m in no doubt that will soon be reflected in our league position.”

Falkirk’s win at the same venue last week saw Thistle drop back to the bottom of the Championship as they weren’t in league action, but with The Bairns not playing this weekend, Harkins is hoping the shoe will soon be on the other foot.

“It’s a really important game, but even though it sounds like a cliché, all of our games are so important now,” he said.

“The fact that Falkirk got the win at Alloa last weekend doesn’t have anything to do with us really. We can’t affect that.

“All we are doing is making sure we are concentrating on ourselves and what we can do to get ourselves out of this situation. I’m sure that if we continue as we are, then we will definitely get out of it.

“We aren’t really looking much further than that, and we aren’t really too concerned about what anyone else is doing.”

It was a little under a decade ago that Harkins first left Thistle to join Dundee, and he has gone on to play for a further five clubs in the intervening period as well as having a second spell at Dens Park in-between.

But while Harkins has enjoyed a somewhat nomadic career, there is no doubt that he now feels right at home.

“It’s great to be back here,” he said. “I knew the gaffer, the assistant manager (Brian Kerr) and Gerry Britton up the stairs, so it feels really comfortable coming back to play here.

“Quite a lot has changed at the club since I was here the last time, but it still has that same feel about it that makes it a great place to come and work. I’m getting out of my bed every morning looking forward to getting in.”