Partick Thistle know they should be better, says Steven Lawless

Steven Lawless and Gary Dicker
Steven Lawless says Thistle have fallen short of expectations this season

Steven Lawless says Partick Thistle must put their disappointing season behind them to ensure they retain their top-flight status.

The Jags visit Championship runners-up Livingston in Thursday's Premiership play-off final first leg, with the return at Firhill on Sunday.

Midfielder Lawless, 27, admits Thistle, second bottom in the Premiership, have fallen short of expectations this term.

"We've got a bit of everything, it's just not clicked this year," he said.

"We've had too many games where we've had individual mistakes that have cost us goals and in some games, we've not turned up. We've underachieved as a squad this year, but we need to use that as motivation.

"Everyone in the changing room knows that we should be doing better. But if we go into games thinking we should be doing better then it's not going to work, we need to go in there and graft as much as we can and hopefully the quality that we've got in this squad can get us over the line."

Thistle won eight of their 38 league games, but were unbeaten in all but one of their five post-split fixtures.

A vital win against Dundee on Saturday guaranteed they avoided automatic relegation to the Championship, though Lawless is aware of the task at hand if they are to overcome Livi.

"We know what's ahead of us, we know it's going to be a pressure game but we need to try and use that pressure," said Lawless, in his sixth season at the club.

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Highlights: Dundee 0-1 Partick Thistle

"It's two cup finals we've got and we need to treat them like that. We need to forget about the rest of the season and if we do that, then I'm sure we'll be fine.

"I've not had the best season. I don't think many of the boys in the changing room could put their hands up and say this is their best season, but I've got confidence in that changing room with the boys that we've got."

With 19-year-old Thistle defender James Penrice having spent time on loan at the Lions earlier in the season, Lawless says he is aware of the quality David Hopkin's team has and dismissed suggestions that they play an overly aggressive style of football.

"We're pretty aware of the country we play in, there's a lot of physicality," added Lawless.

"Not many games are 'tippy-tappy', you don't get much of that up here. Usually it's really high intensity, lots of pressing and that's just Scottish football for you, you get that the majority of the games.

"I've played against a few of their boys before so we know what to expect, we just need to prepare as well for that as we can.

"They've obviously got good players as well or they wouldn't be in this position they're in. You can't finish second in the Championship just through physicality."

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