Partick Thistle manager Alan Archibald wants someone else to provide the drama at the bottom end of the table as he seeks to steer the Jags into steadier waters.

The next three league games against Dundee, Hamilton Accies and Ross County could well be pivotal in just how comfortable the ride between now and the end of the season is for Archibald’s side.

“I think when you look at it from the outside it’s enjoyable for people because it makes it really interesting as there’s always something to play for from top of the league to the bottom,” said the Thistle manager.

“At the top end there’s the battle for European places, to guys trying to get in the top six and then down to the bottom section where we are all fighting for our lives. The introduction of the play-offs has been great for the neutral but it’s not that great when you’re involved in it.

“It would be good to have a season with a bit less fun for a change! I said last year the biggest thing about getting into the top six was relief because you’re not involved in the relegation battle.

“If you don’t make the top half it’s been so tight in recent years that everyone is involved in the relegation fight - and it seems that it’s going to be that way again this year.

“The margins are so fine, there is not a lot between the squads so it’s a case of who turns up on the day and who gets the result at the right time.

“If I was to choose I wouldn’t be living on the knife edge, you’d rather be in the top six away from the stress at the bottom.

“The good thing is we’ve got experience from it in the past. I wouldn’t say I enjoy it but we know what to expect and what it takes to win these high pressure games so hopefully we can draw on that and make these previous seasons stand us in good stead.

“As a manager it’s good to know that I have guys in the dressing room who have proved themselves in that situation and are telling the other lads how to deal with it.

Thistle had the last laugh when they came back against the run of play to take full points from Dundee in October.

Neil McCann was livid in the aftermath of that one, something that Archibald could understand.

“He wasn’t pleased and rightly so because we robbed them,” he said. “There’s no doubt they deserved to win the game but they didn’t take the chances they’d made and then we stole it at the end.

“Although I wouldn’t go as far as to say it turned our season around but it was a massive win for us because it kept us in the pack with everybody else.”

Thistle are boosted by the return of Abdul Osman and the return of various personnel has given the Firhill manager a choice when it comes to team selection rather than relying on the bare bones.

“Abdul does an important job for us,” he said. “When players get injured you see how badly you miss them and how much they are needed.

“Sometimes you can take them for granted when they are fit. We obviously missed Abdul, he plays a big part in the squad. Defensively we missed him because he lets other guys go and play because they know he’ll sit in there deep in midfield and keep things quiet behind them.

“I think that gives the other players confidence knowing he’s got their back, but it’s not just him. Martin Woods, Callum Booth and Mustapha Dumbuya all add experience.

“We’re training with 20 players now whereas before Christmas we’d have 11 or 12. That gives people excuses but there is no excuse now.

“These are three big fixtures now for us and I’m sure the managers of these teams will say the same thing - that these are winnable games and can be considered six pointers against teams we will probably face again in the bottom six."