Smith: Stumbling Partick will still be the champions

GRAEME SMITH has tipped Partick to go on and claim the Irn-Bru First Division title after playing his last game for the club.

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Graeme Smith believes the Jags will win the First Division
Graeme Smith believes the Jags will win the First Division

The former Rangers, Motherwell and Hibernian keeper has been between the sticks for Partick Thistle in recent weeks after penning a short-term deal following injuries to regular Firhill No.1 Scott Fox and youngster Ryan Scully.

With the pair now fit and finances tight, McNamara is unable to keep Smith on for the remainder of the First Division campaign.

He bowed out in frustrating fashion on Saturday as Livingston fought back twice to deny Thistle victory, with Anthony Andreu and Marc McNulty cancelling out goals from Kris Doolan and Steven Craig.

In a dramatic finish at Almondvale, Sean Welsh saw red for the Jags seconds after hitting the bar with a header before Livi rescued a point at the death.

It was a cruel late blow for McNamara's side but Smith is confident Thistle can come out on top come the end of the campaign.

He said: "Hopefully the boys can go and kick on for the rest of the season. It is going to be tough, there are three good teams fighting it out at the top.

"I firmly believe there is SPL quality in the changing room, the boys have a lot of ability.

"Once they get that next win, which I know will come soon, then hopefully they can go on another run and get the title.

The goalkeeper added: "It was disappointing to lose a goal so late on Saturday. We had chances in the game and Livingston had a couple as well.

"We were caught out in the last minute, we should have held the ball in the corner and defended the goal better but fair play to Livi, they kept coming and got their rewards.

"It was perhaps a fair result but sometimes you come off and you are delighted to dig out a win and if Livingston hadn't scored we would have been delighted. It was a late blow but I am sure the boys will kick on again, starting this week at Dumbarton."

While the coming months could be bright for Thistle as they chase promotion and Ramsdens Cup glory, uncertain times lay ahead for Smith.

After a debut horror show against Hamilton, the 30-year-old turned in some decent showings during his spell with the Jags and admits he leaves Firhill with a heavy heart.

He said: "I am not sure what the future holds yet. I will look to see what is available and hopefully something comes up. I am still training with Thistle to keep myself fit and you never know, I might have to shoot away at short notice.

"I am open to anything and I will look at anything but it has to be right for me and my family. I thoroughly enjoyed playing under Jackie and, apart from my first game, I feel it has went well for both parties.

"I have really enjoyed my time at Thistle. It comes down to finance at the end of the day and I understand that.

"I knew it might not get extended. I would love to work with the gaffer and the boys again but the reality is that they have got two good goalkeepers here."

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