Danny Devine thinks that the stability in the Partick Thistle dugout can give his side the edge over managerless Kilmarnock in today’s huge clash at the Energy Check Stadium at Firhill.

Both Thistle and the visitors are sitting at the bottom of the standings on just three points from their opening eight games of the league campaign, a record that cost Killie manager Lee McCulloch his job.

As a result, head of their academy and former Jag Paul McDonald will lead them to Maryhill this afternoon, as the Ayrshire side take their time over a permanent appointment.

And Devine thinks that the fact his own club have stood by Alan Archibald, a manager the Thistle players not only respect but don’t want to let down, can give them an advantage.

The Jags players know exactly what is expected from them, and know their jobs inside out, and Devine is sure that can lead to a crucial three points this afternoon.

“It does help having a stable manager,” said Devine. “When a manager leaves or is sacked then there’s always whispers and that can unsettle the team.

“But it’s good to be at a club where everyone is behind the manager and his coaching staff.

“It gives us confidence to have people who have confidence in the manager and the board has confidence in the structure he has with his group of players.

“It’s up to us now to put in the right performances and get the right results. We are looking at the next three games as the chance to gain nine points.

“That’s what we have to do, we need to keep focusing on the positives and keep trying to improve.

“After the Motherwell performance, the only is up for us as a team.”

Another positive for Thistle is that they go into the match having had extensive experience, albeit unwelcome, of being in exactly this sort of position before.

Crucially, they also have experience of digging their way out of such holes.

“I can’t speak for Kilmarnock but there’s no panic from us even though we are in a similarly bad situation to themselves,” he said. “The fact that we’ve been here before will play its part.

“If you look about our club and at the training ground there is no panic.

“It’s early days so there’s no panic because there’s no need to be because we know we have a good group of players here who can get us out of the situation.

“Last season was similar to what’s happened this season, we also had a slow start, then we managed to put in a couple of big performances and we slowly moved up the table.

“We went to ninth spot, then to seventh and we ended up finishing in sixth. It’s the same this season at this point, the teams are very closely packed together.

“Hopefully we can go on a bit of a run and we know the next few games are very important so we’re looking to pick up maximum points.

“We all dug deep and we are expecting that from each other again and the staff will be expecting it from us.”

Firhill may be known for its thrills, but Devine feels it may well be no place for the purists this afternoon.

“It’s a cliche to say that we need to get the win no matter what way but it is that time now for us,” he said.

“It’s about getting the three points and look upwards on the table. “It’s up to us to make sure that happens.

“Kilmarnock are in a similar position to ourselves, so the players know what’s at stake.