Partick Thistle resigned to losing Bannigan and Seaborne

Stuart Bannigan
Bannigan is set to leave Partick Thistle in the summer

Partick Thistle manager Alan Archibald is resigned to losing two of his top players in Stuart Bannigan and Dan Seaborne.

But he hopes Steven Lawless and Frederic Frans will stay and is close to bringing in new players he believes will strengthen his team next season.

Thistle ended the season with a 2-2 draw with Hamilton and in ninth place.

"We're going to lose a couple of key players but we've got plans in place to get good replacements," Archibald said.

Lawless indicated after the match he would be happy to stay but is keeping his options open for the time being. Archibald admits it is always a challenge for clubs of Thistle's size to retain their best players.

"Dan Seaborne will be moving on, I think Stuart Bannigan's decided to move on as well now, Stevie Lawless we're still waiting for. We're talking to Freddie just now," Archibald told BBC Scotland.

"A club like Partick Thistle are always going to lose key players. They've done well here. The club can't stand still. We've got some targets there, ready to hit the ground running.

"Last year, I thought we got caught a little bit short because we lost a lot of key players at the same time, but I think with the boys we've got now nearly signed up, we could probably start the season with a team we could trust."

Steven Lawless
Archibald hopes Lawless will stay at Partick Thistle

With a number of first-team regulars missing on Saturday, Archibald gave young full-back James Penrice only his second start, while 21-year-old David Wilson impressed in midfield.

"It's great to have them to fall back on," admitted Archibald.

"James is only 17 and making his home debut, I thought he was fantastic again - great delivery from set pieces, great composure on the ball, confidence in his ability.

"Physically, he's got to still fill out and we'll work on him defensively as well. David Wilson gives us a great option in midfield also, so delighted for the younger lads."

And though Archibald felt his side might have finished higher up the league, he hailed their recovery from a nine-game winless run at the start of the season.

"If you look at the start of the season we had, which was horrific, to come back from that, credit to the lads they showed great character and got us to within a point or a goal of reaching the top six."

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