IAN McCALL knows that it’s time for his side to start winning games again – and is desperate to begin a good run of form when they host Dunfermline on Saturday.

Thistle were beaten 2-1 by Raith Rovers last weekend as they bowed out of the Caramel Wafer Challenge Cup. And whilst McCall saw positives in the match, he emphasised that his side will need to be consistent across the full 90 minutes if they are to have any chance of victory at the weekend.

He said: “Talking doesn’t win you three points, it’s what you do on the pitch. We need to perform a lot better than we did in the second half against Raith Rovers, albeit we felt we were unbelievably unlucky to be 1-0 down at half-time.

“There’s a third of the season to go which seems quite long but it’s 12 games and there’s no beating around the bush - we’ve got to start winning games.

“We’ve got to defend better, pass the ball better. You’ve got to dig in now.

“The way the league is then if we manage to win, which will be very hard, then you can maybe bring Dunfermline into it and the more teams fighting then. Arithmetically, the more the better. If we can get the three points it will bring them a bit closer.

“I’d have been no use in these type of games but Neil Scally and Alan Archibald would have been crucial.”

Thistle have endured a treacherous start to 2020, having failed to pick up all three points since their victory over Morton in late December. This run of form has seen them drop to the foot of the Scottish Championship, three points behind ninth-placed Alloa.

“We had a great run in December, top of the form table, but it hasn’t gone well at the start of this year”, said McCall. “We made a lot of changes in January and haven’t had consistency of selection but I’m offering no excuses.

“We’ve got to do better because our fans have suffered for a couple of years now and we’ve got to do better for them and the players themselves.

“We’ve got back to back home games and we need to rack up the wins because I definitely think more than 40 points will be needed this season.

“I’ve been in this situation before at both ends and one result can turn it and you can go on a run, but you have to get that result.”

The Thistle manager also provided an update on Zak Rudden ahead. The striker signed from Rangers in January has been sidelined for the past few weeks through injury and McCall admitted that the Dunfermline clash may come too soon for him.

He said: “Zak Rudden has done a bit of training but I’m not sure if we’ll risk him and the fact the next game isn’t for another 10 days then we might keep him so he can really build himself up.

“Joe Cardle, Steven Saunders and Ryan Williamson also all miss out.”