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A win at Firhill is only way for Muirhead to escape spotlight

THE season is coming into focus for Aaron Muirhead.

An interview arranged with a television crew coincided with another commitment in front of the cameras as Partick Thistle launched a charity initiative with Breast Cancer Care Scotland.

The flash photography would help him to illuminate the imperfections of the campaign at Firhill, the biggest blemish found at the Glasgow ground where an enduring inability to win in the league has left Thistle red-faced.

That might have left Muirhead feeling a little self-conscious yesterday, but the Thistle defender did not avert his gaze from his side's return to the ground on Saturday against Dundee United. His demeanour gave the impression of a confidence in the task at hand, which was made much easier to believe with confirmation that Kallum Higginbotham has returned to training.

The Thistle forward is capable of being incisive but was cut down early in a goalless draw with St Mirren on Saturday, leaving the pitch on a stretcher and with a nasty gash in his leg following a challenge from Jason Naismith.

"I didn't have a good look at it, Lee Mair turned to me and said 'just stay away'," added Muirhead. "He was nearly sick and I did what he said. I'm not a man for blood."

His resolve has been tested enough this season as Thistle haemorrhage goals - that draw in Paisley only the fourth time that his side have kept a clean sheet following their return to the top flight. Muirhead has stepped away from defence, but the decision yesterday to release striker John Baird has freed up wages and also the prospect of making another addition before Friday's deadline.

Muirhead could be restored to a more familiar position against United, then, but the 23-year-old has still been eager to get to know his midfield role better. "I've been speaking to a few boys about the position, guys like Welshy [Sean Welsh] who is out injured just now," said Muirhead. "He's been quick to tell me what I'm doing wrong . . ."

Muirhead arrived at Firhill yesterday in a pink t-shirt. He was speaking to announce an initiative which involves the seats in the Firhill dugouts being branded with a breast cancer charity logo and made available for sponsorship, and it is a cause which he was close to already.

"Both my grannies were affected," said the Dumfries-born defender. "My granny, Nina, actually had a breast removed and my other granny [Bunty] was in hospital for close to a year getting treatment. My dad's best friend's sister died recently as well, so my family has been affected quite a bit. I know it is a serious injury . . ."

Muirhead had adopted the parlance of a footballer inadvertently. At least the cameras had already caught his best side.

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Football

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