THIS week our team of sports writers will be providing their assessment of the season so far for all 12 Ladbrokes Premiership clubs.

Keep an eye on the Herald and Evening Times websites for our mid-season reviews throughout the week.

The season so far

Partick Thistle fans, going by the evidence of the last few years, would be as well waiting until the Christmas decorations are up before regularly attending games, and this season was no different.

The early promise provided by the Betfred Cup, most notably an early season dismantling of St Johnstone in Perth, gave way to the usual early campaign maladies that seem to befall Thistle every year.

Nine league games came and went without victory, six of those ending in defeat, before finally, at the 10th attempt, Dundee were somehow vanquished at Firhill in late October despite dominating the match from start to finish.

Having failed to pick up maximum points themselves from a few games they felt they might have in that horrendous run, it looked as though this rub of the green might just be the thing to set the Jags on their way, particularly when a further four points were plundered that week from the visit to Hamilton and another win over St Johnstone, but things took a turn for the worse once more.

A 3-0 defeat at Ibrox may have been expected, but the 5-1 reverse to Kilmarnock at Rugby Park certainly wasn’t, and represented the nadir of a disappointing season to date. A crazy game against Motherwell on a snowy midweek night in mid-December, where Thistle raced into a 3-0 lead after barely half an hour before being forced to cling on at the death for a 3-2 win, provided some respite, but a dire 3-0 defeat at Dens Park had those on the outside of the club speculating over the future of manager alan Archibald.

A couple of vital wins over Hamilton and Ross County over the festive season brought cheer to Maryhill though as Thistle clawed their way off the bottom of the table, and it will be hoped that like last season, the second half of the campaign will see the Jags put a run together in order to mount a challenge for the top six.

Best player

Blair Spittal has hit the ground running since making the switch to Firhill from Dundee United in the summer, and has impressed with his guile, eye for goal and set-piece expertise.

An initial flurry of goals died away a little, but his free-kick strike against Motherwell in December was his seventh already this season in all competitions.

He is joint top scorer in the league too with Chris Erskine on four, and with three assists to his name as well, he has proven a shrewd acquisition by Alan Archibald.HeraldScotland:

Star signing

See above. Of the other summer acquisitions, Jordan Turnbull had impressed in defence before his recall to parent club Coventry this week ahead of a move to Northampton, and Paul McGinn has done well, but Connor Sammon and Miles Storey will feel they have more to offer than the two goals they have managed apiece so far.

Biggest disappointment

Injuries to key players. Regulars like captain Abdul Osman, Callum Booth, Christie Elliott and Mustapha Dumbuya have all spent extended periods on the treatment table this term, which goes a long way to explaining the poor start to the campaign, if not excusing it.

Last season’s club player of the year, Adam Barton, has also yet to hit the heights this season, but after moving back in to the centre of defence of late, he will be hoping that his reading of the game and range of passing can be better showcased from now on in.

What will the second half of the season bring?

If Thistle maintain their pattern of recent years, their supporters should be in for better viewing from January onwards, and the imminent return of their cast of injured players will give them justified hope that their team can start looking up the table.

There are only six points between Thistle and sixth-placed Kilmarnock, so a challenge for a top half finish can’t be discounted, but simply pulling away from Ross County at the foot of the table has to be the priority.

A long overdue run to the latter stages of the Scottish Cup would be nice too, but that again will play second fiddle to the importance of maintaining their place in the league.

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