THISTLE cup hero Kris Doolan hopes he has given manager Alan Archibald a selection headache after marking his first start of the season with a winning goal.
The striker was overlooked in favour of summer signing Ryan Stevenson for Partick's first three Premiership outings but made the most of his chance to shine at Cappielow on Tuesday night. He notched the only goal of the game in Greenock as the Jags booked their place in the League Cup third round.
Thistle will return to league action on Saturday with a tricky trip to Aberdeen and Doolan - who led the Firhill scoring chart with 11 last term - hopes to get the chance to add to his tally.
Doolan said: "Obviously it has been frustrating to miss out as everybody wants to play.
"There is now competition for places in every area of the team, which is good. But I want to be playing and I'm trying my best.
"Hopefully, after my goal, I have given myself a chance.
"But I've played long enough to know not to expect anything. I make sure I do the right things when I'm training and playing. I keep my head down and work as hard as I can every day to get myself in team.
"Last year I was out of the team for a bit but got back in and finished top scorer.
"All you can do is prove you deserve to be playing when you are on the park or in training.
"I don't let my head get down. It would be easy to let it affect you but I use it the other way. I use it to drive me on.
"I take it out on the park. If a chance comes my way, I will put it in the net. Every time I play I will score goals. I don't worry about it at all."
Thistle were not at their free-flowing best as they edged past their League One rivals but got the job done.
As well as bidding for a top-six berth this term, the Jags are targeting a prolonged run in the cups after a series of early exits in recent years.
Archibald's side will face St Mirren at home in the third round and Doolan says he and his team-mates are determined to set the bar high and reach the competition's latter stages.
He said: "We don't have anything to lose, we can only gain something by aiming high.
"We are all positive. We are a young team, we have a young manager and we all have big aspirations and want to achieve.
"There is nothing to fear from the other teams left in the cup."