Kris Doolan is eager to start tying his Partick Thistle players down on longer deals at Firhill with the end of the season fast approaching.

The Championship club are challenging for promotion to the top flight and the majority of the playing squad are out of contract when the current campaign concludes, although this is often the case in the second tier and below.

Five-day extensions were handed out earlier this year to ensure the team is under contract in the eventuality that the Jags are competing in the Premiership play-off final.

Doolan has got the ball rolling in his efforts to extend the affected players’ stay in Maryhill, and is hopeful he will get the all-clear to push ahead in the not-so-distant future.

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“It’s something that we would like to get done as soon as possible,” the Thistle manager explained. “The aim is that we get these things on the move and in the background we will be doing it.

“It is just a case where once we receive the green light to do these things, we can. But it’s up to us to put things in place so that when you get the green light you don’t have to hang about.

“That’s what we are doing just now, we are trying to put wheels in motion for players that are already here so everybody is comfortable. But until we get the green light to go ahead there is not much else we can do, so we are just waiting on that.”

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Having players in the final six months of their contract means they are allowed to speak to other clubs and agree moves elsewhere, but Doolan is not overly concerned by the prospect of top-flight teams poaching his star men.

He explaind: “The year we won the Championship [2012/13] half our squad was out of contract – I was out of contract and so were other players.

“I know how it works but I think as a player, your focus is on the club you are at. And if you are doing well then why would you be looking elsewhere?

“I think just now it’s about keeping your focus and I know that is the case. I know the type of players we have and the professionalism we have. So it’s about continuing what we are doing because we are doing something right, and not changing that mentality between now and the end of the season.”

Doolan has very much been working on a game-by-game basis since he succeeded Ian McCall at Firhill back in February as he aims to guide the Jags back to the Premiership.

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At this stage of the season, managers often have one eye on the upcoming summer of recruitment but the Thistle boss won’t be getting ahead of himself. The Championship run-in, he says, has given him enough on his plate as is.

“Right now we have got to focus on what is happening here,” he added. “I know the role in terms of looking forward to next season but we have to take care of things right now in the short-term.

“It is about having a plan and an idea of where we want things to go but until we are given the green light then it’s just a plan really. But it’s about being ready for whatever eventuality comes.”