KRIS DOOLAN hopes he has timed his run into the box to perfection as he aims to net a starting spot for Partick Thistle.

The Firhill hitman came off the bench on Tuesday to grab a last-gasp equaliser for the hosts against Rangers, only for the Ibrox club to eventually run out 3-1 winners in the quarter-final.

Boss Alan Archibald started the game with Conor Sammon in attack, and the big forward turned into a terrific man-of-the-match showing at the apex of the Jags attack.

But with Thistle facing his parent club Hearts this weekend in Maryhill, the Irishman will likely have to sit out of the crucial Premiership match.

And after banking his fourth goal of the campaign, Doolan is ready to step up if required as his side go for their first league win of the campaign.

The 30-year-old said: “I’m not sure what Conor’s situation is for Hearts, I’d imagine he can’t play against his parent club.

“I can only look after myself. The strikers are there to put the ball in the back of the net. I came on and did that. Hopefully I’ve put down a marker for Saturday.

“We don’t want it to be just accepted that we start slowly and it’s not.

“As players it’s up to us to change that. For some reason we do start very slowly in the Premiership and we are always playing catch up. We don’t want to be doing that.

“The longer it goes we want to make sure we get up that league. We have the ability to turn it around.”

The sense of what could have been may still linger around the Energy Check Stadium at Firhill given how closely Thistle pushed Pedro Caixinha’s side.

While Doolan’s leveller came in the dying seconds, he had a great chance earlier in the match to get the Jags back on level terms while Sammon was denied more than once.

It would have been the first time since 1993 Thistle had got the better of Rangers, and the disappointment was still with Doolan when he tried to sum up the game.

“I think we didn’t want the final whistle to come,” he said. “Another five minutes of normal time and we probably could have won it. We were really in the ascendency at that time and Rangers looked out on their feet.

“In extra-time they then started really brightly and gathered themselves better than us and got their early goal to kill us.

“It’s a different game if we score a wee bit earlier in the game. It would have been a completely different finish.

“They then would have come out to win the game a bit more and with the space we would have been able to pick them off.

“To score so late and take it to extra-time is great, but we have to learn the game wasn’t finished.

“One of the good things is we changed the shape during the game and the team reacted brilliantly to it. It was pretty seamless.

“From that point of view the manager will be pleased because it didn’t cause any confusion and got us back in the game. That’s a good thing we can adapt.

“We are scoring goals and creating chances. That’s always a good sign and stand us in good stead.”