O'Donnell hopes to deliver Christmas gift to Firhill fans

PARTICK THISTLE defender Stephen O'Donnell hopes the Firhill club can bring some festive cheer to fans by finally ending their wait for a home win this season.

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Kilmarnock goalkeeper Craig Samson punches clear under pressure from Partick Thistle defender Aaron Taylor-Sinclair as Jags are edged out 2-1
Kilmarnock goalkeeper Craig Samson punches clear under pressure from Partick Thistle defender Aaron Taylor-Sinclair as Jags are edged out 2-1

Alan Archibald's side head into their crucial Christmas double-header with Inverness Caley Thistle and Motherwell having seen another three points slip through their grasp in a 2-1 loss at Kilmarnock.

Despite Kris Doolan cancelling out Chris Johnston's opener for the Rugby Park side, a late Kris Boyd strike denied the Jags as their second-half pressure failed to pay off.

Caley Thistle head to Firhll on Boxing Day before Archibald's side host Motherwell on Sunday and defender O'Donnell is determined to give the home crowd something to cheer about after another agonising defeat.

He said: "We deserved the three points when we played Kilmarnock at home and while Saturday was a bit more even, we had the chances that could have won it.

"There is no reason for us to not be looking forward to games. Apart from Aberdeen and Dundee United, nobody has played us off the park and there are things in those games that went against us.

"We just need to keep building and hopefully we can get three points come Thursday. Four points from the two home games would be great, six would unbelievable.

"I don't know what has happened at Firhill this season.

"It is disappointing for the fans. We want them to be coming out in their numbers in our first year back in the top flight.

"There is a lot to be positive about at the club but if we don't do the business on the park then people aren't going to pay their money to come and see us. Hopefully we can start picking up results and push on even more."

Thistle went into Saturday's Killie clash aiming to extend their advantage over Allan Johnston's side in the Premiership standings and end their recent barren run.

It was to prove another afternoon of what might have been, however, as the Jags passed up two glaring opportunities before being undone defensively late on as Boyd struck in trademark fashion.

O'DonnelL said: "It is the story of our season unfortunately, missing chances and conceding sloppy goals.

"We are playing well, which is the frustrating thing. It is obviously disappointing to lose, especially after we did well to get it back to 1-1. There are positives to take from it and we just have to keep building on it.

"You can get fed up with the hard luck story but it is true, there is nothing you can do about it. We just need to keep working hard.

"We are more than a quarter through the season and I have not seen anything that we should be afraid of. As a team, we can improve more."

While it was to prove another frustrating day for Archibald and Thistle, the return to action of O'Donnell was a reason to be cheerful in Ayrshire.

The former Celtic youngster has been missing in recent weeks due to suspension and a hip complaint but hopes he is now fighting fit as he gets set to challenge Jordan McMillan for the Firhill right-back berth.

He said: "I trained last week so hopefully that is me back. I will keep pushing and working hard and hopefully I can get back in the team.

"It happened the day before the St Mirren away game and it gradually got worse. I then got suspended and that gave me a chance to get to the bottom of it so hopefully that is me sorted."


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            Michelle McManus            

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