Given the winless run his Partick Thistle side are currently on, the last thing that Alan Archibald needed was further bad news on the injury front.

Unfortunately for him and for Thistle, that’s exactly what he has got, as Christie Elliott has been ruled out for between four to six months.

Elliott fractured his ankle in the draw with Hearts at Firhill, but it has now emerged that he has also damaged ligaments, which has lengthened his expected lay-off.

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“[The injury situation] hasn’t eased, the injuries we have are long-term ones,” said Archibald.

“Christie has had surgery and he’s going to be four to six months, because he’s damaged ligaments as well, so that just adds to the blow.

“We’ve just got to get on with it, we know where we are and it’s hard with the injuries.

“I can’t even slag our physio because there’s no muscle injuries or anything, it’s four long-term ones and three of them are full-backs.

“Mustapha Dumbuya, Callum Booth and Christie Elliott are all out long-term, and you add Abdul Osman to that list too.

“The only good news is that Gary Fraser is back in full training for the last two weeks, so he’ll hopefully play in a 20s game this week.”

That last sliver of good news has come as cold comfort to Archibald, who admits that the international break couldn’t have come at a worse time for him after his side’s dismal display in the defeat at Motherwell.

“It wasn’t a good break, it was a long break,” he said. “There’s no doubt about it, we were stewing on what went before.

“It was a horrible break. Nobody likes getting beat, but the manner of the defeat at Fir Park was hard to take and it made it a long couple of weeks, I’m not going to lie.

“We got it out of the players’ systems in the first part of the week, we spoke about it and put it to bed.

“Now we have to put it right, get a reaction, and we have a chance to put it right against Kilmarnock.

“I don’t need to tell the players what is expected. I’ve been here before and I’m lucky enough that I’ve only had four or five performances like that in my time in charge.

“There were no positives to take from that game, nothing. To be fair to the group, we’ve had a reaction in training from them and now we have to get that reaction in a massive game at Firhill. We have to put it right.

“The players know what is at stake, and we all know it as a club, as a staff and as a collective group.

“We know we’ve got to be better. We know how big Saturday is and we hope we get the fans here to back us, because we’ll need them as well.”

Archibald is taking comfort from the fact that the performance at Fir Park has been far from the norm.

Despite the fact that his side are yet to win a league game, the Thistle boss believes there has been much to take from their other displays so far, even though he would sacrifice the performance this weekend to get three crucial points.

He said: “We haven’t won in eight games in the league, so it’s hard for me to sit and defend that as a manager, but apart from the Hibs game on the first day and the Motherwell game, we’ve been in every other game and it’s been the odd goal in it.

“Previously there had been positives, but the Motherwell game was a bit of a shock and a bolt from the blue, because in terms of performance, we’ve been well in the rest of the games.

“We’ve just got to get it out of our systems and try to put it right on Saturday.

“We need to get back to the sorts of performances we had against Rangers and Hearts here, and away to Ross County.

“But listen, I’d take a win regardless of the performance, that’s how desperate we are for the victory. It’s a huge game for both clubs and we know what’s at stake.”