CHRIS Erskine hopes his return to Partick Thistle results in the Jags’ first home Scottish Premiership win of the season against St Johnstone at Firhill on Tuesday night.
The 26-year-old midfielder moved from Maryhill to Dundee United in the summer but has returned to the Glasgow club on loan until the end of the season and goes straight into the squad for the rearranged game against the Saints.
He becomes Alan Archibald’s fourth January signing with the manager having already added Lyle Taylor, Gary Fraser and Lee Mair to his squad as the Partick boss tries to drag his side away from second-bottom of the table, a position due, in part, to their failure to pick up three points in front of their home support.
Erskine said: “To come back and get the first home win of the season would be the ideal scenario so fingers crossed.
“It is a strange one because it was so good last season, teams were fearing to come here.
“We had such a good record so I don’t know what the problem is, obviously.
“It might just be a wee bit of inexperience being in the top league for the first time but hopefully it will change soon.”
Erskine is hoping the Partick fans cut him some slack when he takes to the field against the Perth men.
He said: “I spoke to my agent who said there would have been a few options but to come back to Partick where I know I’m wanted and where people know what I can do, takes a wee bit of weight off my shoulders.
“I’m hoping the fans don’t hold it against me that I left but at the time - and even now, - I think it was the right move for me.
“I loved it here and that’s most of the reason I came back, so I hope the fans accept me back.”
United manager Jackie McNamara told the club’s official website: “Chris has been unlucky with injuries and the form of the others in midfield and hence hasn’t had the run of games he needs.
“I see this as a great opportunity for him to get games and build up his match fitness and confidence at a place he is comfortable playing.
“I believe this will serve Chris well and I see him come back in the summer ready to push on and show what he can bring to Dundee United.”
McNamara also confirmed that 20-year-old Ryan Ferguson has left the club by mutual consent.
New Jags stopper Mair vows ‘home record must improve’
New Partick defender Lee Mair believes the Jags need to show more savvy if they are to end their miserable record at home.
The Jags have not tasted victory in a league match for nine months and blew their latest chance to end that long wait for a Firhill win when they allowed Kilmarnock to snatch a last-gasp equaliser on Saturday.
“I can’t understand why Thistle have struggled at home all season,” said the centre-half.
“Maybe we just need to add a bit of ruthlessness in front of goal and be a bit more streetwise. We’ve got St Johnstone on Tuesday and it’s important we learn lessons quickly, especially with where we are in the table.”
Mair found himself frozen out of the Saints line-up by Buddies boss Danny Lennon before being finally released last week.
But he was relieved to be back in action, saying: “It was good to get back to playing on Saturday and to get another 90 minutes under my belt.”
“I felt we deserved the three points. it’s a sore one to take,” he added.