Partick Thistle full-back Callum booth says that he is raring to get back into action, and has declared himself ready and willing to start against Queen of the South in the Scottish Cup this weekend.

The full-back has been out of action since picking up a knee injury against St Johnstone back in August, but he made his long-awaited return to the Thistle side in last week’s friendly win over Shanghai Shenhua.

After getting that hour of action under his belt, and stepping up his fitness work in training over the winter break, Booth is desperate to make the starting line-up for Saturday’s trip to Palmerston.

“I can’t wait to get back into real, competitive action,” Booth said.

“It was brilliant for me to get over to Marbella and get some really good work under my belt on the training field.

“I was obviously still playing catch up in terms of my fitness, and it had been difficult the week before the trip with the boys being off. Now I’m right back in amongst them though, and I’m feeling better all the time.

“It has been such a frustrating spell to be out for so long, so it felt brilliant to pull the jersey on again last week and get an hour of game-time under my belt.

“It might only have been a friendly, but it was a really good level of opposition, and it just felt good to be out on the pitch again.

“I’m desperate to start or at least be involved in some capacity in the game at the weekend, and if the manager picks me, I feel that I’m ready to go in there and do well for the team.”

Booth is renowned for his fitness levels, and he admits that he found it difficult to cope with the first real long-term injury of his career, especially when Thistle were struggling at the start of the season.

But with the flying left-back ready to return to the fray alongside fellow long-term absentees like Abdul Osman, Mustapha Dumbuya and Christie Elliott, he is certain that the Jags can have a strong second half to the campaign.

“The first couple of weeks after you get a long-term injury, you’re just devastated,” he said. “You have to get your head around it, and I’ve got to give a special mention to the physio Marcin (Szostak), because he was such a great help to me.

“There were four or five of my teammates going through a similar experience, and we would help each other through it in the gym for example.

“But I would much rather they had all been available for the team, and the fact that we had so many first-team regulars and important players out just shows you what the manager has had to contend with.

“Hopefully with myself, Muzzy and Abs coming back, Christie being not too far away and James Penrice coming back from Livingston, we will have a much deeper squad to choose from in the second half of the season.

“Suddenly, we’re beginning to look really strong all over the pitch.”

While the league remains the priority for Thistle, Booth, along with everyone else at the club, is desperate for a decent run in the Scottish Cup this year too.

But he has warned his teammates that it could be over before it has begun if they don’t treat Queen of the South just as seriously as the best teams in the Premiership.

“I think we say every year that we would love a cup run, and we were a wee bit unlucky to go out at the quarter-finals last year,” he said.

“But there’s no use in looking that far ahead, because Saturday’s game will be really difficult against a very good team.

“They probably have the best player in the Championship in Stephen Dobbie, so we know what we are up against, and if we aren’t completely focused then we will be punished.

“We will give Queen of the South our full attention, and hopefully that will be enough to see us into the hat.”