Crystal clear blue skies and the sun beating down on a January day. It can only mean a winter break away in a sunnier climate if you’re a Scottish football team. Partick Thistle finished up their break in Spain with an impressive 2-1 win over cash-laden Chinese Superleague side Shanghai Shenhua, which was more comfortable than the scoreline suggests. In truth, Thistle were streets ahead of their opponents, who are preparing for the start of their new season.

Providing further cheer for the 30 or so Jags fans who made the trip was the sight of crucial players coming back into the fold, as they witnessed the return to first team action of Mustapha Dumbuya, Callum Booth and captain Abdul Osman, all of whom have missed the first half of the season. The visitors lost Argentine superstar Carlos Tevez to Boca Juniors earlier in the week, but they were still able to call upon the likes of former Newcastle and Chelsea striker Demba Ba in their squad.

During a goalless first half, there were headed chances for Connor Sammon and Danny Devine, and efforts from Kevin Nisbet and Dumbuya which were not taken. All-in-all though, it was a very encouraging first half display from Thistle.

Jamie Sneddon replaced Ryan Scully at half time and was a spectator for most of his first team debut. Zhang Lu had the visitors first chance after 48 minutes but shot over and then Zhu Juan Rong had a half chance before Thistle reasserted their authority.

Even the introduction of the aforementioned Demba Ba could not prevent the Jags taking the lead in 62 minutes. Blair Spittal’s cross was slid into his own net by Wang Lin to give Thistle a deserved lead. Five minutes later and Thistle extended their advantage when James Penrice swung in a corner and Devine powerfully headed home. Spittal then forced a magnificent one handed save from Lin Kai Yuan whilst Nisbet's 25 yard effort clipped the bar. With three minutes to go, Ba produced an outrageous shot from 22 yards which flew into the top corner giving Sneddon no chance, but it was only to prove a consolation as the Scottish side held on for a deserved win.

After the game Thistle manager Alan Archibald gave his thoughts on the sojourn to Spain as a whole.

“It’s been a really good week for us," he said. "It gave us a chance to train as when we flew out it was minus five and we wouldn’t have been able to.

"We’ve had good facilities and the weather has improved as the week went on, the players have worked ever so hard and capped it off with a great performance.

"We had Callum, Abdul and Muzzy playing an hour of the game, and with so many games in December, it has been a frustrating time for them. They have been out so long but haven't been able to train with the group as much as we would have liked.

"Having some of the boys back fit is great for the squad and gives us more options for the rest of the season."

Archibald was disappointed to lose defender Jordan Turnbull during the week, but revealed that contingency plans were in place for such an eventuality.

"Although we have lost Jordan we were aware of the possibility that something could happen regarding a move, and were already looking at options should the situation arise.

"With how well he did for us we hope that it will reflect well on the club and encourage other players to come to Firhill and grasp their chance.”