CHRIS Erskine has witnessed first-hand the devastation that relegation can wreak upon a football club, and he is determined to ensure that it doesn’t happen to Partick Thistle.

The Firhill attacker was coming to the end of his time at Dundee United when they dropped down to the Championship, and he remembers all too well the uncertainty and hardship that was visited not only on the players, but on those behind the scenes too when the Tannadice outfit suffered the drop.

After the giant strides that Thistle have taken as a club over the last few years, Erskine would hate to see all that good work undone by the player’s failure to maintain their Premiership status.

And he reckons it is up to the more experienced players like himself to dig in and pull the club they love out of the predicament they are currently in.

“Everyone feels that responsibility, but for guys like myself who have been here for a long time, the club maybe means that wee bit more to us,” Erskine said.

“We’ve seen everything that the club has gone through, and while nobody wants the season to end badly, we probably feel that wee bit more responsibility than the others.

“We all want to get the club out of this though, it’s all of our jobs at the end of the day, and not only the players, it’s everybody involved in the club.

“I’ve seen it before at Dundee United when the club went down. You are looking at guys in the kitchen and in the offices who aren’t sure about their jobs, so it’s a big responsibility for all of the players and the management.

“The whole club suffers when something like relegation happens, and it would be a real shame after the progress we’ve made in the last few years.

“Everything has been moving in the right direction, and in order for that to keep happening, we have to stay in the Premiership.

“It’s a horrible situation for everyone to be in when you get relegated, and I don’t want that to happen to our club.”

If they are to claw their way to survival, Erskine is in no doubt that Thistle must return from Dingwall with three points tomorrow.

With opponents Ross County now just three points behind them at the bottom of the table, Erskine is adamant that his side have to get back on track in the Highlands.

“It’s been two weeks in a row now that we have given away a game in the last 10 minutes or so,” Erskine said.

“It’s especially sore because it’s been against teams round about us, and I think we’re making the task even more difficult for ourselves.

“We’ve obviously got a massive game on Saturday now, and we really need to go up there and win I think. With Ross County being very close to us now, we really need to be looking to get the three points. At the very least, we can’t get beat.

“I guess if we got a draw it wouldn’t be the worst result in the world, but I think we really need to start picking up wins if we want to pull away from those bottom spots.

“We’re going to have tough games before the split with Hearts, Hibs, Aberdeen and Kilmarnock. When you look at that, I think we do really need to win on Saturday.”

Thistle won a crucial match on the road against County last season, with Erskine scoring the third in a 3-1 win, and Erskine hopes that another victory at the Global Energy Stadium can be a turning point once again.

“I remember that game well and I think a similar sort of performance will be required,” he said.

"We just need to win the game. We’ve got to find a way. We haven’t been playing badly, but it’s the result that counts.

“That was a massive turning point in our season when we really needed it, and hopefully something similar can happen on Saturday."