Christie Elliott today vowed to come back better than ever from his four-month injury woe and aid Partick Thistle’s relegation fight.

The 26-year-old is making strides in his recovery from a long-term injury and is eager to barge his way back into the first team reckoning and bolster Thistle’s clamber away from the bottom.

Elliott suffered a fractured ankle in a 1-1 draw with Hearts last September as Thistle’s sick bay almost got to the point of breaking point.

The versatile Englishman has upped the ante in his comeback push with development run-outs against Hibernian and Falkirk recently and will get another chance to test himself with a match against Celtic under-20s on Friday.

Every minute on the pitch gives Elliott fresh impetus and he is champing at the bit to get back into the cut-and-thrust of frontline Premiership combat again.

He said: “I feel I’m getting stronger. When I got back running it was quite daunting. You have the doubts in your mind and you’re wondering if you’ll ever get back to how you were.

“But the training has been good and the minutes I’m getting is all helping. I think it’s just a matter of time before I get an opportunity again. I always believed that I’d come back a better player than before and it’s up to me to prove that now.

“It’s been a long time out. When I first got injured they had said it would maybe be four to six months out so touch wood everything is moving towards the earliest possible return.

“It’s been hard though. Things were going quite well for me. I had started the season really well. The injury came at the worst time and was hugely frustrating. But these things happen in football. When I was younger, I never had any injuries. But I had a stress fracture to the lower part of my back a while ago but hopefully this is it as far as long term injuries are concerned.

“You have to stay positive and stay strong mentally. You have good days and bad days but the months have actually flown by and that says a lot for the physio and those around me at the club who have kept me going. Everyone is pushing you on.

“We’ve had loads of players injured. It’s the worst spell I can recall. Any team would suffer with the kind of injuries we have had to deal with this season. But it’s a good squad and we have competition again now and that keeps people on their toes.”

Thistle suffered a sore defeat at the weekend when they went down to a late double-whammy from Dundee’s Simon Murray as the visitors plundered the points at Firhill.

That kept the Jags right in the grim midst of the relegation dogfight but Elliott is up for the battles to come over the remainder of the campaign. The proverbial six-pointer against Hamilton this weekend will come too soon for him while another huge game against bottom-of-the-table Ross County looms on the horizon.

He added: “I want to do my bit. It’s a massive push now. There is plenty to play for and every game will be huge. I want to be back in there and involved in that push.

“The Dundee game was a sore one for everybody. They had done so well and to lose in that manner was hard. It’s up to the players coming back like me to put pressure on the lads who are in the team and try to keep the standards up. You always want to be out there playing so hopefully I don’t have to wait too long for my chance.”