Alan Archibald has stressed to his Partick Thistle players that he wants no Ross County repeat when the Jags host the Highlanders on Friday night.
With three Ladbrokes Premiership fixtures remaining, the Maryhill men are two points ahead of the league’s bottom side.
However, Thistle’s 4-0 defeat in Dingwall last month, which dropped the visitors to the basement on goal difference, is still fresh in the mind of the Maryhill boss and he has been working hard to ensure the result is different this time.
He said: “We have been in this position before. The last time we went up there they had the chance to leapfrog us, we had the chance to open up the gap on them. It is the same again. We need to make sure we are ready for it.
“We have not forgotten about the last game, we are aware of where we went wrong. They looked like they were up for it more than us and we spoke about that at length. We can’t have that. It has to mean more to us.
“There was a lot of negativity and rightly so. We had lost 4-0 to our closest rivals but we didn’t get relegated.
“The split gives everyone a chance. We have won one and drawn one (post-split) and hopefully we can go and get another three points on Friday.”
Victory would ensure a five-point gap with County having six to play for, but Archibald would not consider his side safe from automatic relegation.
“I don’t think so,” he said. “I think there will still be twists and turns towards the end. You’re not guaranteed points in any of your games after that. All we can do is focus on that one game, try to get the result and see what happens elsewhere.”
Martin Woods is taking a pragmatic approach to the possibility of sealing the fate of former club Ross County, who announced last week that caretakers Steven Ferguson and Stuart Kettlewell had been appointed co-managers on a permanent basis.
The 32-year-old Thistle midfielder, who had two spells at the Staggies, said: “It is my job to go out and win for Partick.
“I’ve got some friends up there and I am close with the manager as well. Stuart is a good guy and I still keep in contact with him.
“Any kind of pals stuff has got to be put to the side because it is our job to stay clear and hopefully we can do that.
“Five points would be a big ask for them to turn around. I think they would probably admit that themselves but it is about going and getting those three points.”
County wing-back Jason Naismith says it is time for the players to finally take responsibility for reversing the season’s failures.
Naismith said: “There is an opportunity for us to go above Thistle and we need to take it. It won’t be easy – it never is in Glasgow. They’re good at home, but we’re confident in our ability.
“Our management team will have us well-structured, but it is down to us when we cross the line. It isn’t up to any manager.
“We’ve had four managers this season, if we count the two of them now in the job – three different appointments – so the players need to take responsibility. It’s up to us to go and get three points.
“We need to show we’re good players and a good team. The match is live on the telly and we will not get a bigger game than this all season. If there is any time and place for us to showcase our talent, it is at Firhill.”
The 23-year-old has been sidelined with a knee injury but is available for selection tonight. He added: “When you’re not playing, it is more nerve-wracking than when you are. I couldn’t even watch the game at Hamilton on Saturday, to be honest.
“We played Thistle and Hibs before that and I thought I was going to be chucked out of the stadium for shouting in the stand! I much prefer being involved.”