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Archibald is still chasing last-minute signing

The transfer window will close this evening.

There are those at Firhill who will swear it has been jammed shut for weeks.

The month began brightly enough for Partick Thistle with the arrival of Lyle Taylor on loan from Sheffield United but the Glasgow side have since become used to offers landing just wide of the other transfer targets. Gary Fraser made a loan move from Bolton Wanderers permanent, Lee Mair ended a frustrating spell with St Mirren to sign and Chris Erskine also retraced his steps and return on loan from Dundee United, but a sense of satisfaction has still to arrive at Thistle.

Alan Archibald has sought to plug the holes in his squad but the Thistle manager will still be concerned with how low his side is sitting in the SPFL Premiership table. He reiterated a desire to add ballast in the form of an experienced midfielder ahead of a match with United tomorrow.

"We started off so well getting Lyle [Taylor] in so early but it has been a lot harder since then," said Archibald, who this week released midfielder Mark Kerr and John Baird - the striker re-signing for Raith Rovers. "The problem has been that you find the players we want have been talking to other clubs round about us too."

The Thistle manager also had cause to bring Sean Welsh into the conversation yesterday, with the midfielder drawing closer to a return to action following a groin injury. "We are talking about three or four weeks. Hopefully," added Archibald, who has been without his captain since December.

United will be more concerned about the fitness of Gavin Gunning, with the defender expected to be out for up to a month with a knee injury. It is perhaps just as well that John Souttar is back from a break in Spain, alongside forward Ryan Gauld. "They are looking fresh," said Jackie McNamara, the United manager.

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