O'Donnell holding on line for call

PARTICK Thistle star Stephen O'Donnell hopes his good form this season will be enough to win him a new deal at Firhill.

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O'Donnell is hoping to sign a fresh deal with Jags
O'Donnell is hoping to sign a fresh deal with Jags

The 20-year-old has been one of the Jags' standout performers so far this term.

He has helped Jackie McNamara's side to the top of the Irn-Bru First Division and into their first cup final in 41 years as they booked a spot in the Ramsdens Cup final against Queen of the South.

O'Donnell switched wide on Thistle's midfield four against title rivals Dunfermline last Saturday and turned in a superb showing.

He firstly set up Steven Lawless' opener before netting the third goal in the 5-1 win with a sublime individual effort.

More than 5,000 fans were at Firhill and the former Celtic youngster wants to continue to play in front of big crowds as the season goes on.

O'Donnell said: "My contract is up at the end of the year. Football is not a very stable career, you can't plan long-term.

"Hopefully I have done enough or I am doing enough to merit a new contract. We will wait and see. It is not up to me.

"I just hope my agent gets a phone call one day from the gaffer saying they want to renew my deal. We will see what happens. It's fingers crossed.

"It is a great club. When I signed here, I didn't realise how big a club it was. It's huge.

"Hopefully we can keep playing like that and keep winning.

"The crowd on Saturday was superb, I think it would have topped most SPL crowds.

"You need to give the Dunfermline fans credit as well. They came in good numbers and sadly for them went home with nothing. It was good for us, bad for them.

"If we can keep doing well and the fans keep coming it would be unbelievable playing in front of 5,000 every week."

Since moving to Firhill 18 months ago, O'Donnell has made the right-back position his own in McNamara's side, taking over from Paul Paton with aplomb following his switch to midfield.

Aaron Muirhead was at right-back against the Pars as O'Donnell was moved forward and he knows he must keep performing to retain a starting jersey.

O'Donnell said: "As a young boy at Celtic, John Clark said to me: 'once you have made 50 appearances, you are a first-team player.'

"He was meaning Celtic but the same rule applies to any club.

"I think I am close to achieving that target now but, even after I get my 50 games, I still don't want to sit back and think that I have made it.

"I think it should be if you play well, you keep your place and, if you don't, your position should be up for grabs.

"I have played well this season, but Aaron Muirhead came in at right- back and was superb and I was playing in front. If I start having bad games, you never know.

"I am near 50 matches now, but once I get there I want to get 100, I am just happy to be playing."

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