PARTICK THISTLE defensive star Scott Boyd today revealed he is determined to fight for his place at Firhill.

The 21-year-old has another two years to go on the current three-year deal he signed under Dick Campbell last term.

But, after featuring in only 45 minutes of the Jags' opening two friendlies, Boyd is hoping to impress new gaffer Ian McCall against Falkirk in tonight's Firhill curtain-raiser.

He said: "When a new manager comes in you know that it is a case of starting again and that you need to show him exactly why you were given the new deal.

"But, I have to be honest and say that after only getting 45 minutes from our opening two friendlies, I know that if I get the opportunity tonight I need to take it.

"The manager has made it clear that he is trying to bring in as much competition as possible at the back and that is what it is all about. I just have to make sure I am up for the challenge."

Indeed, as he seeks to develop his squad, manager McCall is set to field two more trialists in tonight's 7.30pm clash with the Bairns.

However, of the five trialists that featured in Tuesday night's 2-2 draw at Stenhousemuir, McCall will not be pursuing an interest in the Slovakian central defender who has now moved on to Dundee.

The mystery French duo, whom McCall continues remain tight-lipped on will, I understand, be rested tonight before the Jags boss has a final look at them against Ayr United on Saturday.

For former Firhill favourite David Rowson and ex-Grimbsy utility man Gary Harkins, this evening's game with Falkirk may be the last chance to impress upon McCall that they are worth a contract.

Meanwhile, Boyd has admitted it is vital the Jags show up against their SPL opponents in their first curtain call in front of an avid home support.

The Thistle stopper said: "Falkirk are now an established SPL side and we know that this game is a real step up in class from the games with Montrose and Stenny. We also know that we have taken some sore ones at Firhill over the last couple of years.

"The support will be wanting some evidence that we are going to be able to do the business at Firhill this season. So if we can get a positive result against Falkirk that would give the squad a big boost and hopefully the fans too."

But Boyd is all too well aware that any positive result must be built on a tight defensive performance.

He admitted: "The boys at the back are determined to try and keep a clean sheet. We know that we haven't done that in the opening two games and if we could do that against Falkirk it would be a big step forward. But no-one here is under any illusions as to how tough that will be."

However, with a thigh injury set to rule out Marc Twaddle, while Jimmy Gibson and John Robertson are doubtful, Liam Buchanan could be pressed into action despite nursing a tight hamstring.

While McCall might tinker with his formation as he continues to experiment, the manager is well aware that a decent performance is a must.