LURING Scott McDonald out of retirement is already looking like a masterstroke as Thistle climbed out of the bottom two and recalibrated their target for the season.

If |McDonald’s fairytale winner at Alloa is indicative of the impact he will have in the run-in then Partick could begin to think about the play-offs rather than survival.

Despite being out of action since last May and only completing the paperwork 24 hours earlier, the 35-year-old produced a clinical finish 10 minutes from time to seal a watershed win.

Fellow scorer Blair Spittal has no doubt that it is only a taster of what is to come once McDonald enhances his match fitness.

Spittal said: “He brings bags of experience and you could see from his goal that he knows to be in the right place at the right time,

“He was disappointed with the chance he missed earlier when he took a great touch but put the ball over the bar.

“But once he gets his match sharpness up, he will be a good signing for us.

“A few of the boys at Dundee United that I keep in touch with had said he had kept himself in a good condition.

“He came in earlier in the season and trained with us and we could see what kind of shape he was in then.

“He is one who likes to link the play. You can see his movement and his hold-up play is great so once you get the ball into him you can make runs.

“So I’m looking forward to playing with him in the remaining matches.

“It was a massive win for the club. We knew what it would mean for the club and we knew how important it would be to win three points no matter how we did it.

“We were under pressure at times but we stood up to it and then Scotty’s goal killed it.”

Thistle are now unbeaten in five league matches, racking up three wins in a row and there is little doubt the recruitment of established pros like Gary Harkins, Steven Anderson and McDonald along with Joe Cardle and Steven Saunders, who are recovering from injuries, has been key.

The knock-on effect has been improved performances from existing players like Stuart Bannigan, Kris Doolan and Spittal, who opened the scoring in four minutes after being set up by Doolan.

He added: “The gaffer has added a lot of experience in the January transfer window. We had a youthful side so now we have a nice blend.

“We’ve managed to bring a few teams closer to us now and results went for us too

“We knew getting to eighth place would be massive for us psychologically. Now we need to build on it and see where it takes us.”

The opposite is true for Alloa who are now bottom and have played a game more.

Winger Kevin Cawley said: “The first goal is crucial in this division and we keep losing the first goal. We need to cut out the mistakes that are costing us.

“But we have to get ourselves back into the right frame of mind for another big game next weekend away to Queen of the South.”