CHRIS ERSKINE has joined Partick Thistle on loan until the end of the season – making this his fourth spell at the League One club as a player – as the Maryhill side unveiled three new additions to the first-team squad.

Motherwell striker Ross MacIver, 22, has also joined up for the remainder of the campaign, as has versatile defender Steven Bell. The latter and Erskine have both joined from East Kilbride on loan, with the Lowland League still suspended until further notice.

Spells at Dundee United, Livingston and most recently in the fifth tier interspersed Erskine’s time at Thistle. The 34-year-old playmaker, a fan favourite at Firhill for the part he played in the Jags’ 2013 First Division triumph, has over 50 goals in red-and-yellow in almost 300 appearances in total.

“Thistle fans need no introduction to Chris Erskine and he is a player I am delighted to have secured for the rest of the season,” Jags boss Ian McCall told the club’s website.

Glasgow Times:

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“We needed to add extra creativity to the squad and in Chris we have a player who we hope will be able to create chances and score goals at big moments for the rest of the season.

“I am also really pleased to have secured Steven Bell for the rest of the season, his experience will really benefit the team. He can play in a couple of different positions across the pitch, but most importantly he knows what it takes to get wins in this division.”

MacIver’s acquisition was also announced this morning, with McCall keen to bolster his forward ranks for the run-in to the League One campaign after Salim Kouider-Aissa’s loan was terminated. The 24-year-old has since joined Queen’s Park on loan for the rest of the season.

“I am really pleased to welcome Ross to the club,” McCall said. “He is a promising young player who is here to challenge Brian Graham and Zak Rudden for a starting position on a weekly basis.

“We need to hit the back of the net more frequently between now and the end of the season and Ross is a player who can help with this. He is a natural finisher and gives us strong competition in the striking areas.”

The trio mean that five new signings have been brought to Firhill in the last week after Rangers defender Adam Devine joined on loan, as did 33-year-old BSC Glasgow midfielder Andy Geggan, formerly of Dunfermline and Ayr.

Blair Spittal returned to parent club Ross County in January and while an agreement was struck last month to bring former Jags winger Declan McDaid to the club on loan once the lower leagues were given the green light to resume, the 25-year-old's return to form at Dens Park resulted in him staying put.

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The League One season is expected to resume on Saturday 20 March, although the final timetable for matches remains unclear. On Friday afternoon, the SPFL announced that Thistle would host Cove Rangers a week on Saturday before facing Airdrie the following week. No other league fixtures have been revealed.

The Jags' Scottish Cup tie with Cowdenbeath will be played on the evening of Tuesday 23 March, with the winner of the tie facing Dundee United in the next round.

All 20 League One and League Two clubs have united behind a proposal that would see 22 games being played - each team would play the others home and away before a split was introduced, with each half of the division then playing each other one more time.

The SPFL are proposing a simpler 18-game format (where clubs would play the rest of the league just once home and away), citing concerns that in order to accomodate the split, the team that finishes ninth in the Championship - and would therefore be involved in the play-offs - would be at a disadvantage, as the calendar would mean they would go two weeks without playing.

Talks between the clubs and the governing body are ongoing. At the time of writing no decision has been officially announced but reports on social media suggest that a 22-game season has been approved by the SPFL.

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Meanwhile, Thistle have announced that they will host Robbie Neilson’s Championship-topping Hearts side for a behind-closed-doors friendly on Sunday.

The match will be broadcast live and for free on Partick Thistle’s YouTube page, and the club have urged supporters not to congregate near the stadium to try and catch a glimpse of the Jags back in action.