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Thistle hope two new signings add up to home comforts

Partick Thistle have played 12 league matches at Firhill this season but it has still to feel like home.

Their winless run started last April and has left the Glasgow side looking tired, slumped in the relegation play-off spot in the SPFL Premiership ahead of the visit of Dundee United this afternoon.

Their last trip to the west end of Glasgow ended goalless and there is an enduring concern that Thistle will be left with a similarly empty feeling if they are not able to amend their uneasay home record. It is one which can be explained by statistics - that draw with United was one of only two matches this term that Thistle have kept a clean sheet at Firhill in all competitions - but that was perhaps seen more clearly in the face of Lee Mair earlier this week.

The arrival of midfielders Prince Buaben and George Moncur, on loan from Carlisle United and West Ham United respectively, has created a distraction from the club's trouble at home, while Mair also sought to divert attention elsewhere. The defender has been at the club for a little over a week since signing from St Mirren and he is already sick of being reminded of his team's record at home.

"The only people who talk about that is the press," said the Thistle defender, whose side also released Ross Forbes. "We haven't mentioned it at all. People just dig up a story. With the performances we've put in since I came here, I can't believe that statistic. We have done really well."

Thistle could do to perform better against United this afternoon. Their last meeting with the Tannadice club ended in 4-1 defeat on Tayside, with their visitors growing bolder with the addition of young Newcastle United defender Curtis Good, who signed on loan yesterday.

The 20-year-old is expected to make his debut at Firhill as a result of the injury suffered by Gavin Gunning. Scottish football is already aware of the potential of young players from St James' Park - St Mirren have benefited from signing such as Paul Dummett, Conor Newton and Adam Campbell on loan from Newcastle in the past two campaigns - and Jackie McNamara is excited by the promise shown by Good.

"Curtis comes to us highly recommended and from a well-respected club," said the United manager. "He is left footed and can play as either a central defender or left-back. These are areas that required cover and it was important this was addressed."

Good could be joined in defence by John Souttar, who returns to the United squad alongside Ryan Gauld after the teenagers spent time resting in Spain. "They are fresh. They are hungry and they are desperate to get going again," said John Rankin, the United midfielder.

"They have been flying this week in training which is great as it is like having two new players again. Before they went away, they seemed a bit low. In training you normally can't get near them but you were able to kick them in the last couple of weeks.

"Their body language wasn't quite right. But they have come back in so fresh and enthusiastic the way they should be."

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