Niall Keown reckons it’s time for Partick Thistle to show what they’re made of after a desperately disappointing performance in defeat to Motherwell at the weekend.

The Jags were seen off comfortably by three goals to nil, extending their rotten record at Fir Park where they haven’t won since January 1996.

The loss leaves Thistle in eleventh place, level on points with bottom side Kilmarnock and still searching for their first league win of the season.

And it was the manner of their surrender to a far hungrier Motherwell side that alarmed Keown the most, with the defender calling it the worst performance he has been involved in since arriving at the club.

“It was disappointing – especially on the back of three good performances in our previous games,” said Keown. “We really let it slip in terms of how we played.

“We’ve had some good performances over recent weeks against various teams, but we got caught cold here.

“Motherwell made things really difficult for us. Credit to them because they did that really well, but we are definitely disappointed in ourselves.

“There was probably a lack of fight. It was pretty physical at times and we allowed them to impose themselves on us.

“There was no real fight from us and Motherwell just seemed to want it more all over the pitch. That’s what it comes down to more than anything. It is tough to take when you end up just being outfought by the opposition.”

Keown feels that Thistle have to get back to imposing their own game on the opposition, with Motherwell allowed to dictate the manner of the match on Saturday.

“Maybe some of our players aren’t best suited to a fight, so we need to impose our gameplan as much as we possibly can and dictate things,” he said.

“We caused Hearts and Rangers a lot of problems recently, which was down to us getting on the ball and doing our stuff.

“We know we can still do that, so we need to stay positive as a team. There is no need for any fall-outs or for anyone to lose confidence. We need to be more confident than ever going into the next few games.

“We played Rangers twice recently and ran them close both times, so it doesn’t really add up that we come to Motherwell and just get turned over in the manner that we did.

“In terms of getting on the ball and showing for it when things are tough, I would say it probably is as poor as we’ve been during my time at the club.

“When you’re up against it, that’s when you need everyone to have a bit more bottle than ever.”

Keown isn’t panicking over Thistle’s poor start, with the Jags of course having previous form for digging their way out of similar situations.

But he does concede that the run of fixtures coming up against Kilmarnock, Dundee and Hamilton will be crucial to their aims for the season.

“We definitely have some winnable matches coming up,” he said. The next three games are really, really important for us.

“We need to make sure we are focused and confident because we aren’t doing ourselves justice with our position in the league at the moment.”