Gary: I'm in a good place now the L-plates are off

IT has been a season of up and downs for Gary Fraser on and off the pitch.

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Gary Fraser has had an eventful season with Partick Thistle, but he is fully focused on helping Alan Archibald's side retain their Premiership place
Gary Fraser has had an eventful season with Partick Thistle, but he is fully focused on helping Alan Archibald's side retain their Premiership place

But the midfielder is determined to end the campaign on a high note by helping Partick Thistle retain their top-flight status this term.

Fraser has packed a lot into the last 12 months following his departure from Hamilton Accies, with a switch to Bolton Wanderers, a loan move to Firhill and a lengthy ban for an incident in an Under-20 game all coming before Christmas.

After terminating his Wanderers contract and signing on with the Jags on a permanent basis, he has been an integral part of the Thistle side that will clinch their place in the Championship next season with a win at Hearts tonight.

Fraser said: "I would love to do it for the club and the manager. They have given me a chance and I want to also do it for the fans.

"It has been an up and down season. I couldn't go to Bolton, but Thistle have always been here for me. Then there was my ban, but that is all behind me now.

"A lot of people said stuff, but they were not even at that game. I have learned from that and moved on. That will never happen again. I feel as if I'm miles ahead of what I was at the start of the season. I have grown up and matured a lot.

"I don't think I took anything for granted. I think it just came too early and I didn't realise what I had. Hopefully, I will do well here and I can go back to bigger and better things."

Fraser has been one of the shining lights for Thistle this term as Alan Archibald's side have impressed against Scotland's top teams.

Their performances overall merit another crack at the Premiership next time out and Fraser is confident Thistle can complete the job and avoid slipping into the play-offs.

He said: "It would then be tough to take if we went down, but it is not all about me.

"However, I think we will stay up, to be honest. We have the fighting spirt we need and we have shown we deserve to be a Premier League team next season."

Victory at Tynecastle tonight will guarantee Thistle their top-flight safety, but they face a resurgent Hearts side who have found their form in recent weeks.

And Fraser is eager to bounce back from their late Hibs heartache and ensure there are no last-day nerves.

He said: "We were angry the way it worked out last Saturday. We had an extra man with them being down to ten men and they were not in the game.

"They hit a big, long ball and they managed to get a goal from it. But we have a great chance to bounce back against Hearts.

"If we get a win then that will be us virtually safe so it is vital. It would make it a lot easier going into the final day of the season on Saturday."


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