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Partick Thistle have lost another three key players who took them to within a missed penalty of a return to the cinch Premiership and saw one of them quickly join a Championship rival.

The club confirmed that captain Ross Docherty, fellow midfielder Kyle Turner and defender Kevin Holt had chosen to leave the club.

Dundee United later announced the signing of Docherty on a two-year deal.

The triple blow follows forward Scott Tiffoney’s departure to Dundee days after Thistle’s play-off defeat against Ross County.

Thistle manager Kris Doolan told the club’s official website: “We made the best offers we could to keep Ross, Kevin and Kyle at the club, however there has been strong interest elsewhere, understandably so given recent performances.

“They – and Scott Tiffoney – have each chosen to pursue opportunities beyond Firhill which is their right and they leave with my very best wishes having served the club so well.

“I can assure fans I have been working around the clock over the past two weeks on securing deals with players who want to play for Partick Thistle next season and we will be able to begin announcing some of those this week.

“The response from Jags fans over the past fortnight or so has been nothing short of remarkable, in particular season ticket sales, which is a huge boost and makes me even more proud to be Partick Thistle manager.”

The club added that discussions remained ongoing with other players whose contracts have expired.

United manager Jim Goodwin expressed his delight with the signing of 30-year-old central midfielder Docherty.

“Last season, Ross was one of the outstanding midfielders in the Championship and his consistent level of performances with Partick Thistle caught our eye,” Goodwin told his club’s website.

“He is exactly the type of player required to succeed in this league – he’s very comfortable both with and without the ball, very fit and brings additional experience to the squad.

“I have no doubt he will fit in seamlessly with the group of players we are building together ahead of an exciting season.”