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Few Championship clubs have been through the kind of turmoil Partick Thistle have endured over the past 10 months but the Glasgow outfit could yet end the season in clover by returning to the top flight, a division they have not graced since 2018.

The campaign started with a spend by the board which demonstrated that Thistle were intent on securing promotion. In came Danny Mullen from Dundee, Jack McMillan from Livingston, Aaron Muirhead from Ayr United, Harry Milne from Cove Rangers, David Mitchell from Hibernian and Anton Dowds from Falkirk ensuring that the Firhill outfit had one of the highest wage bills in the league heading into the start of the season. Meanwhile another new (old) face was Steven Lawless who returned to the club following a four-year hiatus having had spells at Livingston, Burton Albion, Motherwell and Dunfermline Athletic.

The board's expectations looked to have some substance when Thistle started strongly and hit the top of the table at the start of October. But it was an all-too-brief stay – the following weekend at Inverness they lost 1-0, a result that triggered a dreadful run of form when Ian McCall's men won just one match in their next six.

That disastrous spell came against the backdrop of a dispute off the pitch which bordered on civil war involving the Three Black Cats (the previous owners), The Jags Foundation (a fans group set up to receive the Three Black Cats shares in the club) and the PTFC Trust (an existing fans group that ultimately received the shares).

The matter was only resolved after months of allegations and counter allegations when the Partick Thistle board resigned en masse with only one member (Duncan Smillie) remaining.

The Herald:

Results improved following the resolution to that particular pantomime but Thistle hit the buffers again at the end of January/start of February when they suffered back-to-back home defeats at the hands of relegation strugglers Hamilton Academical and Cove Rangers. McCall left his post shortly after the club's defeat by Rangers in the Scottish Cup whereupon Kris Doolan, fourth on the all-time list of the club's record goalscorers and in charge of the club's Under-18s, was appointed his interim successor. It was a surprise decision given Doolan's relative lack of experience.

At the time of McCall's departure, the club reiterated its stated goal of promotion saying in a statement: "The primary aim for Partick Thistle Football Club for season 2022/23 is to regain Premiership status. The management team were given a budget to support this objective. Given the playing squad assembled for this season, everyone at the club was united in the belief that this was an achievable prospect. The timing of this decision was to allow maximum preparation time for our vital upcoming cinch Championship match with Ayr United."

Under Doolan's guidance Thistle duly won that match and it has been an upward trend ever since he took over. Thistle have lost only once – away to Inverness – since his appointment, accruing the highest points per game total in the league under his stewardship.

Meanwhile, the defence – which contains three of those aforementioned summer signings (McMillan, Muirhead and Milne) – has excelled under Doolan, which is somewhat ironic given his position on that record scoring list for Thistle, and it was no surprise when he was handed the permanent manager's job in March, after just three matches.

However, he enters tonight's game with only five fit defenders with Milne – one of the contenders for Championship player of the year – having been sidelined for the past month.

Thistle's difficult season continued yesterday when it was announced that Doolan's father, Lawrence, had died following a battle with illness. Should the Thistle boss manage to navigate his side's passage past Queen's Park this evening and ultimately into the top flight he will have done so against plenty of odds and in the face of personal tragedy. His father will no doubt be looking down with pride no matter what the outcome.