Doolan won't step back if Jags get new forward

KRIS DOOLAN is confident he can fend off any new Firhill forwards to retain his place at the head of the Partick Thistle attack next season.

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Doolan was Partick's top scorer last term
Doolan was Partick's top scorer last term

The Jags striker finished his first Premiership campaign as top scorer for Alan Archibald's side, with his 11 goals proving crucial as Thistle retained their top-flight berth.

Firhill boss Archibald came agonisingly close to clinching a deal to bring Lyle Taylor back to the club earlier this summer and is still on the look-out for fresh faces to bolster his squad.

Another striker will be one of his top priorities but Doolan is determined to rise to the challenge next term.

He said: "We probably need another striker in and I would welcome that.

"No matter who the manager identifies, I am sure he will be a good player. I look forward to seeing who comes in.

"From my point of view, I don't mind. I just want to be playing and scoring goals.

"Whether another striker comes in or not, I'll be fighting for my place in the same way everyone else here is. I am sure the manager could have gone out and brought in anyone just to fill a jersey.

"But he has to identify the right ones that not only fit into the way we play but also fit into our dressing room.

"It is important that they add something to the team and the squad. That is why the gaffer is taking his time to make sure he gets the right player."

While boss Archibald scours the market for another striker, Jags youngster Chris Duggan has been looking to stake his claim for a place in the first-team squad this season.

The forward caught the eye last term with a superb scoring run for Thistle's Under-20s and a loan spell at Forfar.

And Doolan reckons there is plenty more to come from the former Hamilton Accies kid.

He said: "Chris had a great year with the Under-20s and he has looked really good in the pre-season so far.

"He is a good player and he certainly knows where the back of the net is, so hopefully he has a big future here.

"Chris still has things to work on but we're all the same. You should never stop learning or improving as a player.

"He has different things to add to his game and I am sure he will do that. But putting the ball in the back of the net is no problem for him.

"And, at the end of the day, goals win games."

With just days to go until the big kick-off, Thistle will head south of the border this weekend to continue their preparations for the new campaign.

A friendly against Fleetwood Town will be followed by the visit of Sunderland to Firhill next Wednesday as the countdown continues to their opening league fixture at home to Ross County on August 13.

Doolan is confident the Jags will be in top shape by then.

He said: "The fitness is all there, it is just about getting sharpness now and looking to start putting chances away. You get that by playing games.

"We are in a different phase of our preparations now.

"The games with Fleetwood and Sunderland will give us the chance to focus on technical and tactical stuff."

Football

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