A Falkirk face-off is stuff of nightmare for Taylor

LYLE TAYLOR hopes fate doesn't decide Partick Thistle's destiny and pair the Jags with former club Falkirk in a Premiership shoot-out this term.

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Lyle Taylor could face ex-club Falkirk if Partick Thistle are sucked into a relegation play-off
Lyle Taylor could face ex-club Falkirk if Partick Thistle are sucked into a relegation play-off

While Alan Archibald's side are battling for their top-flight safety, the Bairns are well in the hunt for promotion from the Championship as the campaign enters its final weeks.

With a six-point gap to Dundee and Hamilton Accies to make up in the next five games, it is the play-offs that are likely to give Gary Holt and his players their best chance of escaping the second tier, with their top-four berth all but confirmed.

If they can see off two of their Championship rivals, they would then go head-to-head with the team finishing 11th in the Premiership.

Thistle, St Mirren, Ross County and Kilmarnock are all in the relegation mix and Taylor is determined to avoid the end of season shoot-out.

"It could be Falkirk that is in the play-off," he said. "I saw them last Tuesday against Dumbarton.

"I don't know how the play-offs will go. It will be like a cup game so it could go either way whoever it is.

"We are doing all we can to make sure it is not us and then we wouldn't have to worry about it.

"It wouldn't be ideal to play Falkirk. Higgy (Kallum Higginbotham) would probably tell you the same thing.

"We have got a lot of time between now and then and our focus is making sure we are not the team in the play-off."

While Thistle remain embroiled in the battle to beat the drop, Archibald's side have given themselves a great chance of avoiding the play-offs as they look for a flying finish to their first season back in the top flight.

As the Jags were held to a 1-1 draw by top six side St Johnstone on Saturday, all three of their main relegation rivals picked up points in the penultimate round of fixtures before the split.

Kris Doolan was the Thistle hero as he netted in the last minute at McDiarmid Park and Taylor knows every point is priceless at this stage of the campaign.

"It was a strange weekend of results," he said.

"Ross County did very well to pick up a point at Celtic, not many teams have taken points from them this season.

"It was a good win for Killie at Motherwell and a point for St Mirren as well so all the teams around us put points on the board.

"But we are going into games only looking at ourselves. If we do our best and better the results of the other teams around us then we will be fine.

"I thought we deserved more against St Johnstone, I think everyone would be in agreement with that.

"I was delighted for Dools. It was good to see him get his goal and it was a good goal as well.

"We were buzzing to take something out of the game. If we had lost it would have been a massive injustice."

Thistle will round off their pre-split schedule with a home tie against Hearts this weekend as they look to at least maintain their two-point advantage over 11th-placed St Mirren.

The Jambos will be relegated if they don't beat Aberdeen tomorrow night but Taylor insists Archibald's side can take nothing for granted come Saturday.

He said: "It is a massive game for us this weekend. They are still not relegated so fair play to them. It might happen before we play them but we can only focus on ourselves and look to win the game.

"They won't make it easy for us whether they are still fighting to stay in the league or not.

"Like any footballer, they are proud. That pride got them a win in a massive derby game at the weekend.

"If you ask anyone, they will say it is inevitable Hearts will go down. But I can't see them giving up without a fight and they will keep going until the last day of the season."

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