ON-form Partick Thistle striker Conor Sammon says he is relishing the prospect of a physical tussle with St Johnstone’s battle-hardened defenders in Perth today.

The Republic of Ireland internationalist has exploded into form in recent weeks, finding the net four times in his last three games.

A double against Queen of the South last weekend helped the Jags book a spot in the Scottish Cup fifth round and three days later Sammon put his side in front against Celtic from the penalty spot, only to see the champions fight back to record a 2-1 win.

The 31-year-old is now in his fifth season in Scottish football, spending the 2017/18 campaign on loan at Firhill from Hearts, and the 6ft 2in target man believes the game north of the border suits his style down to the ground.

“It’s the football in general, I enjoy the challenge,” he said.

“It’s quite a physical game which I really enjoy. It’s brilliant going out on a Saturday and having loads of tussles, challenges, getting stuck in and giving as good as you get and ultimately looking to have that quality.

“You can be labelled as a certain type of player, but you want to be good technically to go along with being a good footballer. As I get older I love the challenge, seeing younger defenders coming in.

“The other night, for example, I was up against Kristoffer Ajer, who I know from his loan spell at Kilmarnock. He’s a young lad, up and coming and it’s brilliant to see him getting more of an opportunity at Celtic. Playing against someone like that, who’s also a strong athlete, is a great test and one I absolutely love facing.”

Alan Archibald’s side are looking to record their first Premiership away win of the season this afternoon and the outcome of Sammon’s battle with Saints defenders Steven Anderson and Joe Shaughnessy could go a long way to deciding who comes out on top at McDiarmid Park.

“I always have a good battle with Anderson in particular, who’s very experienced,” he said.

“It’s another tough test. They never give up and get stuck in, give as good as they get. I absolutely love that, there’s no real malice or nastiness in it from Saints, just honest, hard work by players fighting for every ball. I look forward to coming up against the two lads and facing the challenge.”

The most prolific period of Sammon’s career came in 2010/11, when he scored 18 goals in 27 Premiership games for Kilmarnock to earn a dream January move to the Premier League with Wigan Athletic.

The Irishman notched five goals when he returned to Rugby Park on loan for the second half of last season, but he is avoiding setting any personal targets for the remainder of the campaign after hitting his stride with the Jags over the winter months.

“I’m just looking to score in every game I play,” he said. “It’s going well at the moment and confidence is high. I feel really good about my game and I’m looking forward to the Saints match, which will be a good test. They have had a period since their last competitive fixture and it will be a good test for us to go there and try to get a result.

“It’s very difficult for a player to click his fingers and be at it. It comes from doing the simple things regularly, over and over. Going back, this run probably brings back memories of when I was at Kilmarnock before when I was playing regularly and scoring goals. It’s a good feeling and a good habit and one I’m looking to keep going to add to the goal tally and keep playing well to help Thistle get good results.”