AGAINST all odds, Partick Thistle’s bleak midwinter could yet be transformed into the season to be jolly as the turn of the year approaches.

Things were starting to look desperate for the Jags when a 5-1 hammering at the hands of Kilmarnock a week ago kept them rooted to the bottom of the table, but a nerve-shredding midweek win over Motherwell has renewed spirits in the camp ahead of today’s bottom-two tussle with Dundee.

Thistle manager Alan Archibald looked on in disbelief as his side threatened to throw away a 3-0 half time lead against the Steelmen on Wednesday, conceding twice before ultimately holding on to a precious three points that took them from the brink of despair to within three points of ninth-placed Hamilton Accies.

“That’s the beauty of this league, if you win a game it can change everything so quickly,” he said.

“We spoke about that all the time, we didn’t want to be cut adrift when we were on that bad run and it’s given us a chance to go above Dundee this weekend.

“It’ll be a tough task, I think if anyone was at the game previously against Dundee we got out of jail by taking the three points. Dundee were excellent on the day and we were really poor, but we actually won the game, so it’ll be a tough test for us.”

A win would see the Jags leapfrog Dundee in the standings and potentially Ross County too if the Staggies are defeated in Hamilton.

As it stands, the gap between rock bottom and Motherwell in sixth is just nine points and although Archibald doesn’t foresee a seven-team relegation battle, he is keen to emphasise that the best way for his team to avoid a tense end to the campaign is by repeating last season’s heroics and securing a top six finish.

“I think it’s just the ones that are down there, the four or five maybe at the moment,” he said.

“But it can all change with so many games, we know how quickly it changes and I think we’ve seen in the last couple of years that the only way you can really stay out of it is to be in that top six – we found that last year and that was why we celebrated getting into the top six, it means you can enjoy the last few weeks of the season rather than look over your shoulder.”

Thistle find themselves in a remarkably similar situation to the one they were facing this time last year, when a win away in Dingwall before Christmas ended a seven-match unbeaten run to lift them off the bottom of the table and kick-start their turnaround in form.

“I think (that experience) helps, we were never adrift at that time as well which was important, we were always in touching distance and it gave us confidence knowing that a couple of victories changes the whole picture,” said Archibald.

“That’s the way the league’s been over the last couple of years, if you can put a run together it can get you out of trouble, but you need to get consecutive results and we’re well aware of that.”

Paul McGinn, who will face his former club today, admitted that Thistle’s second half dip against Motherwell left the players frustrated.

The defender will be something of a good luck charm at Dens, having never been on the losing side in this fixture, and while he admitted to feeling the nerves on Wednesday he underlined that points are more important than performances at this stage.

“If you’ve got a three-goal lead and give up two of them it’s a bit of a shocker so it’s safe to say we were nervous,” McGinn said.

“But I think that’s the way that we played the second half and we need to get over that and a win helps and would put those nerves to bed.

“We were annoyed that we’d let it come to that because we’d played so well in the first half and were in complete control. We were a bit frustrated but relieved as well because a win’s a win in the end, it doesn’t really matter how you get them as long as we keep getting them.”