Partick Thistle will be short of options at the back this afternoon when they host Dundee in the cinch Championship after central defenders Connor McAvoy and Aaron Muirhead suffered injuries in last week’s 0-0 draw away to Morton.

Muirhead was brought off early on at Cappielow while McAvoy’s afternoon – and likely his season – was brought to a premature end when the Scotland Under-21 internationalist had to be stretchered off before the break. He has since returned to his parent club, Fulham.

It leaves Kris Doolan with Kevin Holt and Darren Brownlie as his only options at centre-half but the Thistle manager is confident the pair can maintain the Jags’ excellent defensive record of late.

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“We’ve picked up a couple of injuries, which isn’t great,” Doolan said. “But on the other side of that we’re lucky we have a good squad of players and if you’re going to do anything in any league, you need a squad.

“In terms of filling those centre-back positions that we’re obviously missing out on, we have got two very experienced players to come in and hit the ground running. Coming off the Morton game, I thought they came on and defended ever so well.

“Connor has picked up a bad knee injury and looks as if his season will be finished, which is horrible for any player. He’ll be a big miss for us in terms of his footballing ability. He was just starting to show how good a player he actually was and what he can bring. As a person as well – he’s a fantastic person and a great learner. He will be a big miss but we wish him all the best and hopefully he’s at an age where he can recover quickly and get back playing again.

“Aaron Muirhead as well, an experienced centre-back, and to lose the two of them in the one game is mad – especially so early in the game. He will be another big miss for us with a hip flexor injury. He’s not as bad, he will just be a couple of weeks and then hopefully he will be back to joining us so that bolsters the centre-back position again.

“Like I said, this is where you see your squad and the guys step up, we have got two centre-backs there who are desperate to play and as they did against Morton came in and defended very well and thankfully got us another clean sheet and a vital point I think.”

The transfer window has been and gone, and the loan market has slammed shut. It means Doolan can only turn to free agents if he wants to bolster his defence for the run-in but the 36-year-old says that supporters should not expect any incomings.

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“I don’t think so, Doolan said. “I’m not too sure. In terms of time, I think we have got centre-backs who come in who are match fit. I think we need people who are fit enough to come in and play straight away, which makes it difficult.

“To lose two centre-backs in one game… it probably happens once in a season, if that. It maybe never happens in a season for some teams so it’s a strange situation to lose them in the one game, but we have to just move on.

“Yes, we will have to make changes but it’s a big enough squad – it is certainly a good enough squad – and we can move on and get three points hopefully.”