WHEN some footballers return to their old stomping ground, the fire in their belly is lit and they turn up desperate to prove a point to their former employers. But then there are others who approach the game with the same steely sense of determination, regardless of that day’s opponents.

Brian Graham is in the latter camp. The veteran centre-forward will be back in familiar territory when he and his Partick Thistle team-mates travel to Tannadice to face Micky Mellon’s Dundee United this afternoon.

The striker has had something of a nomadic career in Scotland after making his breakthrough at Greenock Morton. Spells with Raith Rovers, St Johnstone, Hibs, Cheltenham – and yes, United – interspersed his time at Ross County, so Graham has no shortage of old teams to face off against in Scotland.

But despite that, Graham says that he has nothing to prove to the Tayside club this afternoon – because he’s already done so in the past.

“I don't really feel like I've got a point to prove,” he said. “I had a two-year contract with Dundee United and I was there for a year.

“The following season I think I proved my point. I went to St Johnstone and scored 11 goals in the Premiership that year, finished fourth in the table and qualified for Europe, so I think my point's well and truly been noted.

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“It's an ex-club but they are still the first club I played in the Premiership with. So I still hold them in high regard and hope they do well.

“But obviously it's a game for Partick Thistle to go and try to progress in the cup, and that's what we'll be looking to do.”

Given the auspicious number that marks this year’s calendar, Graham accepts that there is an added responsibility on the Jags players’ shoulders in this particular of the tournament.

Thistle won the Scottish Cup for the one and only time in their history in 1921 courtesy of a 1-0 win over Rangers in the final, and Graham admits that means this particular cup campaign will mean more as a result.

In order to mark the milestone, the Jags will be wearing a commemorative kit this afternoon at Tannadice – a plain navy blue jersey mimicking the shirt they wore that day in ’21 – and Graham is fully aware of the morale boost a run in the cup can provide.

“A good cup run always inspires you, and gives you the belief that you can get to Hampden,” he added.

“When I was at Ross County, nobody gave us a chance in hell that we would go and lift that [League Cup] trophy at Hampden [in 2015/16]. The morale and the spirit was great and if we can do something similar this season, it can only benefit the place.

“We've got the new strip, which we'll wear on Saturday, so it would be good if we could get anywhere near those guys who won it 100 years ago. This time around it's all about how we do.”

Graham himself is feeling confident, coming into the game off the back of two goals in his last two outings in red-and-yellow. The challenge facing the 33-year-old today, though, will be altogether different from those he has been facing regularly this term.

Glasgow Times: PHOTO: Craig WalkerPHOTO: Craig Walker

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The striker is used to playing on the front-foot, in contests where the Jags usually enjoy the lion’s share of the ball and defences sit deep. Going up against Premiership opposition, particularly one that plays with a back three – few sides in League One utilise the shape – could leave some feeling daunted by the task that awaits them, but Graham is adamant that he can make a nuisance of himself.

“Obviously as a striker, it's your job to score goals,” he explained. “Sometimes you play well but don't score and people say, ‘oh look, he hasn't scored’.

“But I think I would rather not play well and score every game, because it probably makes a lot of people happy.

“I think it will be a good cup tie at Tannadice. Dundee United are hard to break down but maybe they'll be more attacking against us because they're the home side. But we're going up there with high expectations and a real attitude that we want to win the game. Hopefully it will be a good one.

“When we played St Mirren at the start of the season [in the Betfred Cup], they played 3-5-2 that night and I thought I played really well, considering we lost 4-1, which wasn't a true reflction of the game.

“I felt I handled the three centre-halves well that night. It doesn't really bother me if it's two centre-halves or three centre-halves. I've got to do my job first and foremost - hold the ball up, get in the box and try and score goals. That's all I'll be concerned about.”

Thistle will wear a commemorative 1921 Scottish Cup kit at Tannadice on Saturday, available for fans to buy at greavessports.com.