STEPHEN O'DONNELL has penned a new contract with Partick Thistle, but won't rest on his laurels ahead of the new season.
The former Celtic youngster established himself as the Jags' first choice right-back last year after joining the club following his release from Parkhead.
He made more than 30 appearances for Jackie McNamara's side and netted two goals during his maiden season in the Irn-Bru First Division.
His form convinced McNamara he was worthy of an extended deal ahead of the new campaign and while the 20-year-old admits he is in a confident mood ahead of the big kick-off, he knows he still has work to do if he is to keep striding forward in his second season in red and yellow.
O'Donnell, who can't wait for tonight's opening pre-season fixture at Alloa, said: "Last year I didn't have a contract during the summer and only signed for Thistle after the start of the season.
"It's been great knowing that I have a contract this time but I can't take anything for granted.
"I could find myself back in the same position next year. In football, you don't have security unless you are on a long-term, big money contract.
"I wasn't consistent enough in the games I played last season and that is something I need to work on.
"I know where I am going to be next season and I have had a year's experience so hopefully I can push on this year and do well for Thistle.
"I feel a bit more relaxed but in a good sense. I was a bit tense and on edge last year, but the gaffer has said he sees me as a first-team player and that is a big boost.
"Hopefully I can do better than last year. You never know what will happen, I could end up playing two games or I could kick on from my first season. I am trying my best and that is all you can do."
By the time O'Donnell signed on at Firhill in August last year, McNamara's side had already completed their pre-season schedule and started their competitive fixtures for the new campaign.
He has been fully involved in all of the Jags' summer work this time out, however, with boss McNamara putting his squad through their paces for a week in Glasgow before heading to their Catterick training camp last week.
Thistle's preparations will step up again with a friendly at Alloa this evening and O'Donnell hopes the hard work will pay off.
He said: "I missed out on the pre-season here last year unfortunately. You need to have a couple of weeks off to allow your body some time to recover, you can't just keeping going all the time because you won't end up any fitter for the start of the season.
"I had a couple of weeks off and had a holiday and then I upped it over the last couple of weeks of the break.
"It is always good to get away with the group and build a team spirit. I did three pre-seasons last year so I am happy to just be doing the one this year.
"I went to a couple of tournaments in Belgium and Spain during my time with Celtic and we were in Turkey for two weeks as well. It is all about getting fit and getting ready for the start of the season."