It has been yet another opening half of a season to forget in the main for Partick Thistle and their supporters, and for the injured Mustapha Dumbuya more than most.

He is sure though that the return of their lengthy cast of injured players can help fire them towards the top six once more.

The full-back has yet to play this season after suffering a knee injury, but he is well on the road to recovery at last, aiming to pull on the red and yellow again when Thistle take on Queen of the South in the Scottish Cup.

And while the modest 30-year-old downplayed the significance of his own return to the fray, he believes that when the likes of captain Abdul Osman and Callum Booth come back into the side, the Jags will be ready to make a push up the table.

“It’s been hard, I’ve never spoken to anyone who has been injured that has said it is easy,” Dumbuya said.

“But I’ve just had to grin and bear it really and try to get back to my best again. I try not to think too much about how long I’ve been out, I just try to get better and get back in the team.

“It’s been difficult to watch it and it’s the same as last year. It’s been like déjà vu to be honest, because I came back in the first cup game last season too in January.

“It’s never nice watching the team when we aren’t performing to our best. It all turned around when I came back last season, but I’m sure that was a coincidence!

“It’s always positive when a few players come back, it brings positivity to the team and lifts morale in the dressing room.

“The lads have started to pick it up recently, and hopefully we can come back into things and help the team to progress further and push for the top six.

“Finishing in the top half last season should have been our benchmark for this campaign, and I still think it’s possible.

“We are near the bottom just now, but with the players we have coming back, we can hopefully make a real push in the second half of the season.”

Dumbuya was relieved to see the recent win over Motherwell and the crucial weekend victory over bottom side Ross County remove some of the doubts that had arisen over the future of manager Alan Archibald, who he rates extremely highly.

And he reckons that any doubters he had will be further proven wrong once the Thistle boss has a full complement of players to choose from.

“The gaffer is a great manager,” he said. “He’s just had a bit of bad luck with all the injuries we’ve had, and it’s been to first-team regulars as well.

“If these players were fit, then they would be playing, and I’m sure the board sees that as well. They understand the situation that he’s in, and hopefully in January he can get a few more faces in and strengthen the squad.

“When you are missing the energy and the engines that the likes of Christie [Elliot] and Boothy have, it is always going to be difficult.

“But all of us that are coming back will be trying to make an impact, and hopefully the second half of this season can be along similar lines to last year.”

Meanwhile, midfielder Gary Fraser has signed a new short-term deal at the club, which will keep him at Firhill until the end of the season at least.