PARTICK Thistle forward Connor Murray reckons the increased competition for a spot in Ian McCall’s starting XI is driving the Jags players on in their quest for promotion to the Championship ahead of their clash with Clyde at Firhill this evening.

The League One club have lost only once since the lower leagues got the green light to return last month – a 2-1 reverse at the hands of Dundee United in the Scottish Cup – as Thistle’s forward players have discovered their attacking verve. In the 14 games leading up to the shutdown, the Jags toiled in front of goal, scoring on only 14 occasions. In the seven games since, they’ve racked up 16.

Murray has been at the forefront of that attacking renaissance, scoring in three consecutive games at the end of March – including a spectacular looping effort from 25 yards that arrowed into the top corner in the 2-2 draw with Forfar a fortnight ago.

But with Joe Cardle and Brian Graham also chipping in with plenty of goals and assists, not to mention Livingston loanee Scott Tiffoney’s prolific start to life in Maryhill, Murray admits that even first-team regulars are looking nervously over their shoulders.

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“I like it,” said Murray, who was speaking after collecting the club's McCrea Mortgages Player of the Month award for March, voted for by supporters. “It keeps you on your toes as anyone can step in and take your place.

“You need to be on top of your game. The forward players are playing really well right now – it’s all different scorers every week, which can only be good.

“It gives you confidence, especially when the team is playing well, because you know that the boys that are coming on the pitch can offer something else.

“I think the attacking players are doing well at the moment and when players are around you are doing well, it raises your game. It spurs you on and it’s helped me a lot.”

Murray added that while the jam-packed lower league fixture schedule could leave some feeling daunted, he believes that the Jags are better prepared than most for the upcoming slog thanks to their strength in depth.

“It’s a lot of games but we’ve got a big squad and a lot of good players,” he insisted.

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“If the squad needs rotated, it’s fine – players can step in without any problems and do just as good a job as the starters. It will be tough for a lot of part-time teams with smaller squads but it’s a big help for us.”

Partick Thistle's Player of the Month Awards for season 2020/21 are proudly sponsored by McCrea Mortgages - visit to find out more.