Breaking up is hard to do, croaked Neil Sedaka in a wistful lament to a lost love. Partick Thistle’s Martin Woods can sympathise. “We had quite a few disagreements and finally agreed that our relationship had run its course,” reflected Woods of his parting of ways with former club Ross County. “I felt as if a burd was splitting up with me.”

Woods has found comfort in the embrace of Partick Thistle and while the Jags have a big game tonight against Aberdeen, the visit of his old club to Firhill this Saturday is giving him plenty to ponder.

Thistle’s win against Hamilton last Saturday, allied to County’s defeat at Hibernian, saw the Glasgow club move off the bottom of the Ladbrokes Premiership as they leapfrogged the Highlanders

Woods, who had two stints with Ross County, still has plenty of connections with County but in the cut-and-thrust of the scrap for top flight survival, there can be no room for old pals’ acts.

“I have a lot of good friends at Ross County but putting them bottom of the league doesn’t mean anything more to me,” he said. “We are in a WhatsApp chat with seven or eight of the boys up there and we speak most nights. We have Paul Quinn, Michael Gardyne, Craig Curran, Ian McShane, Rafa De Vita and Liam Boyce. There is banter every night.

“It’s good to be off the bottom psychologically and, going forward, I don’t care who’s bottom or second bottom as long as it’s not us.”

After his contract wrangles at County, Woods is playing catch up but he is slowly getting back up to spend in the breathless arenas of the domestic scene.

“I’d not played in seven months but that’s now four games in two weeks,” he wheezed. “I’ve been chucked in at the deep but I don’t mind that. I’ll give my all in every game. I’m trying to get fit as we go along and the manager is trying to gauge how long I can last in games. I just give him the hand when I feel like I’m hitting the buffers in games. I hit the buffers after about 78 minutes against Hamilton on Saturday so it’s gradually getting better. These games in quick succession have helped me. When we come back after the winter break, I’ll be on an even playing field with the rest of the league.

“It was horrible not to be playing. I eventually got away from Ross County in August but by then a lot of teams had their squads settled. I had a few other options in the league but I just found when I came in here for two days that I had a good feeling. Game by game, we’re getting that bit of grit and steel that I felt previously was missing. It was maybe a bit too pretty. It’s good to see that we can mix it because that’s a big thing in this league.”

Woods had been embroiled in a battle at the wrong end of the table with County and the 31-year-old knows how important the unity of the band of footballing brothers can be when the backs are against the wall

“I have a lot of good pals there, pals from my first season there when we went on a run and stayed up,” he said. “It brings a group closer together and a few of them will be my pals for life.”