Oct 26 2012 By Fraser Wilson
Erskine was on target against Falkirk last year and hopes to add to his account against the Bairns this weekend
THISTLE ace Chris Erskine reckons winning promotion to the SPL is key to keeping the Jags’ best squad in a generation together.
Jackie McNamara’s young side has set the heather ablaze with their barnstorming start to the campaign which has seen them win seven and draw one of their opening nine league matches, aswell as reach the final of the Ramsdens Cup for the first time.
Young stars such as Steven Lawless, Aaron Muirhead and Erskine himself have all caught the eye as the Maryhill men have streaked ahead at the top.
At times Erskine, 25, has been unplayable in his role just off the strikers and he has already matched his total goals tally for the whole of last season, eight, while chipping in with a barrowload more assists.
His form has inevitably led to speculation of a move away from Firhill come the winter or summer transfer window. But Erskine, whose contract expires in May, reckons the entire Thistle squad will be attracting attention from bigger clubs after their red-hot start.
And he insists the best way to stop the current team breaking up is to ensure they finish what they have started by winning promotion.
He said: “If we manage to get to the SPL I don’t see why players wouldn’t want to be part of that.
“But we have to just concentrate on winning the league and see what happens.
“I’m out of contract in the summer and I’ve not been offered anything yet. I don’t know what’s going to happen.
“You want to further your career as much as possible and play at the highest level. So if an offer was to come in then I would definitely have a look at it.
“But we have to just look after what’s happening now and maintain our good form.
“I think I’ve started well. This year I was hoping to beat my goals tally from last year which was eight and I have got eight already. It’s going well and I’m playing probably the best football I have since I came here so long may that continue.
“The formation we play most weeks really suits me and Stevie Lawless, dropping into areas and trying to get on the ball. That’s what I like to do and the gaffer’s really encouraging the boys to get the ball to me so that helps.”
Erskine netted twice and had a major part to play in two other goals in last week’s 7-0 demolition of Airdrie United.
Not surprisingly the former Kilbirnie Ladeside ace says confidence is sky high in the dressing room ahead of Saturday’s’s trip to Falkirk.
The Bairns by contrast have struggled so far and currently sit seventh with just 10 points from their nine matches.
But Erskine knows Steven Pressley’s side will be no pushovers.
He said: “We’re coming off a 7-0 win which just cements what we have been thinking all along- that we have a good chance of going on and winning the league.
“I think confidence is a big thing. The gaffer has us playing the right type of football and adding a winning mentality to that.
“When you pick up a couple of wins in a row then confidence is high and it breeds right through the team allowing you to go on a run. But it can work the other way too.
“Falkirk haven’t started the league well and they will be determined to change that. They are a young side like us so they are going to be eager to get some points and move up the table.
“It’s going to be a hard match, it always is there, but it’s a big pitch and it should suit us well so I’m looking forward to it.”