Partick Thistle: Jordan McMillan issue will not sidetrack Archibald

By Kenny CrawfordBBC Sport Scotland
Partick Thistle left-back Jordan McMillan
Jordan McMillan has not played since 13 December

Partick Thistle manager Alan Archibald is adamant the club will not let off-field issues concerning Jordan McMillan become a distraction on the park.

The left-back has been suspended on full pay, pending the outcome of an internal investigation.

"I can't comment on it. I'm not allowed to and I can't," said Archibald.

"It'll not be a distraction. We'll not let it. It's just not ideal because I've lost a player, just like any other injury or suspension."

Former Rangers and Dunfermline defender McMillan has made 13 appearances this season but has not been selected since 13 December.

Despite his absence, the Jags have allowed left-back Jake Carroll to return to Huddersfield following a loan spell.

The Jags have a trip to Ross County in the Premiership on Saturday, with Archibald welcoming centre-back Dan Seaborne, forward Christie Elliot and possibly defender Frederic Frans back into the squad.

However, English striker Nathan Eccleston called in sick on Thursday, two days after tweeting: "Time for a change of scenery I think..."

Archibald was at a loss to explain what the ex-Liverpool player meant.

"I don't know what he's referring to," said the Thistle boss.

"Nathan's had a stop-start time of it, on and off fitness-wise. He eventually got himself fit but has found himself behind Ryan Stevenson and Kris Doolan."

Partick Thistle manager Alan Archibald
Alan Archibald officially became Partick Thistle manager in March 2013

Having given Liam Lindsay his first appearance of the season against Dundee United, Archibald was encouraged that the 19-year-old seems an able deputy at centre-back.

But that does not stop him eyeing three more additions in the January transfer window - one in defence, midfield and attack.

Partick Thistle are six points better off than this time last season and Archibald is pleased they have consolidated themselves as a Premiership outfit that bit more.

"It's decent progress but we feel it could be better as well," he said.

"We're definitely in a better position. Last year we had to go out and strengthen and bring about seven or eight players in in January - we needed to.

"But this year we feel as if we only need two or three, so we're definitely progressing as a club.

"I hope the fans trust me. As a coaching staff, we feel we can go and climb up the league and try and catch teams ahead of us rather than look over our shoulders."