Partick Thistle are expected to begin their search for a new manager early next week following Jackie McNamara's departure for Dundee United.

Alan Archibald, the Firhill club captain, is expected to take charge of the team for their Irn-Bru first division match away to Cowdenbeath on Saturday

McNamara signed a new one-year rolling contract with Thistle only six weeks ago. He had taken them to this season's Ramsdens Cup final as well as second place in the league.

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The loss of McNamara and his assistant Simon Donnelly is a significant blow for Thistle, who have been one of Scotland's stand-out teams this season.

A number of their players commented on Twitter about their manager's departure. Conrad Balatoni, the defender, said: "As boys have said gonna be a big loss is the gaffer. Helped me a lot! But we will continue and do all we can to win this league."

Paul Paton, the midfielder, who has been with Thistle for nearly five years, added: "Absolutely gutted the gaffers left. Been great for me and for the club. Would love Archie [Archibald] to get the job, if he wants it . . ."