STEVEN Saunders has held his hands up for the defensive lapses that cost Partick Thistle at least a point against Inverness on Friday night, and says that the entire Jags backline has to do much better if they are to avoid the drop.

Thistle were looking the likeliest team to go and collect the three points during a thrilling second half at Firhill, with the Jags on the ascendency after Stuart Bannigan had cancelled out Aaron Doran’s opener for the visitors.

But Thistle were carved open all too easily once again as a simple ball over the top from Liam Polworth allowed Doran to set up Tom Walsh to hit a stunning volleyed winner, and Saunders was gutted that Inverness didn’t have to work harder for their goals.

“Inverness do what they do in their 4-3-2-1 and the wide players make these runs,” Saunders said.

“It was the two wingers that combined for their winner. We should do better, and I have should have done better personally. But we have to do better as a team and we need to take our chances.

“When it went to 1-1, we thought we were going to go on and win. Blair Spittal hit the post and Miles Storey had come one and done well, chasing balls down.

“It was a lapse of concentration that cost us and it’s hard to take.

“We have been doing well since the turn of the year – especially at home - but we’ll need to dust ourselves down and go again against Morton.

“Last week at Falkirk was a huge chance for us and we didn’t take it. Now we have lost to Inverness.

“It’s a common theme. We’re not taking our chances. But we need to keep working hard in training and get ourselves out of it.”

The one crumb of comfort on the night for Saunders and his teammates was the knowledge that they have another chance to reel in one of the teams immediately above them when they travel to Cappielow to take on Morton on Saturday.

“Teams above us are back in it now because we’ve been doing better since the turn of the year,” he said.

“We were 11 points adrift of Morton after they beat us at the end of December but now it’s only five.

“So, we have been dragging these teams in and we need to continue doing that by earning more points to get us out of second bottom position.

“I’ve been in this situation before. When I was at Dumbarton, we were in second bottom for long periods of the season but we got out of it. It comes from hard work. It might not be pretty but you just have to get on with it.

“I think we have enough in his squad to get out of trouble. I’m very confident in this squad. We just need that bit of quality in the final third and concentration at the back.”