Partick Thistle manager Jackie McNamara has revealed his side's exit from the Scottish Cup has cost striker Craig Dargo a chance to stay with the club.
The former Kilmarnock, Inverness and St Mirren player has been performing with The Jags in recent weeks and was a second half substitute in Thistle’s 1-0 loss to Queen of the South in the Scottish Cup at the weekend.
Dargo had been playing for Thistle for free and McNamara told STV he had hoped to offer the player a deal if the team progressed in the Scottish Cup.
He said: "We were hoping that if we got through we would have funds to keep him, and there might have been something there for him.
"We didn’t have much money at the start of the season, and we certainly don’t have any now. If we had got through, or even a replay, we might have had enough.
"In fairness to Craig, he has been excellent for us. He has came out here and played for nothing to get himself fit in the hope that we could give him something if we got through, or in January. I am disappointed we can’t keep him but he has been an excellent professional since he has been here and I wish him all the best."
McNamara was angered by the cup exit, especially as he believes his team dominated the match before a last minute goal by Daniel Carmichael gave the Dumfries side victory.
Following early round exits in the Ramsdens Cup, the Scottish Communities League Cup and now the Scottish Cup, the former Celtic defender admitted this season has been a disappointment in cup competitions for Thistle.
McNamara added: "I am disappointed that we lost the goal the way we did. I thought we didn’t deserve to go out the cup. It should have at least been a replay. I think we were looking towards that and lost concentration in the last minute. A silly set piece cost us.
"We were on top so much in the first half but we didn’t ask enough questions of them. I think that is where we went wrong. We need to have more belief to take them on rather than passing the buck. We need to be a bit more streetwise, a bit better in the last third. If we see an opportunity we should shoot at goal.
"You look at the goal and it makes me angry. We have relied very heavily on Paul Cairney this year to create something, and when Paul isn’t doing it, you look around the team. We had five attacking players, as well as our full backs pushing on. We had enough to create something but we didn’t.
"The cups have been disappointing. The Challenge Cup, we went out to a penalty late on in the game at Hamilton, the League Cup we lost to Berwick and had two players sent off, and there (Queen of the South) we lost a last minute goal in a game where the opposition were no real threat to us."
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