AFTER dropping in and out of Ian McCall’s starting line-up in recent weeks following a steady run of games at the start of the season, Kyle Turner is hoping for a strong showing against Ayr United tomorrow to cement his place in the Partick Thistle XI.

The playmaker, who celebrated his 24th birthday earlier this week, is hoping to mark the milestone with three points in the bag in Ayrshire but concedes that he and the team have struggled with the same issue this term so far: consistency.

The Jags are currently on a six-game unbeaten streak but even these matches have been a case of feast or famine. A 4-0 victory over Ayr was followed by a 6-1 dismantling of Hamilton, only for Thistle’s next three encounters to end goalless.

A 1-0 win at Rugby Park last weekend has put a favourable spin on those stalemates though, and there remains a sense that Turner and his team-mates are capable of stepping up a gear or two. And after regaining his starting spot, Turner is hopeful of doing just that at Somerset Park tomorrow.

“We know how tough it is going down to Somerset, it’s never easy but we’ll go down there with confidence after a good result on Saturday,” he said.

“Somerset is a tight pitch and I don’t what the weather is going to be like so it could be tough conditions but it’s always a battle down there.

“We need to be ready for it because we know what to expect from them. We obviously had a good result against them at Firhill but it’s a completely different game going down to Somerset. We know it will be tough.

“That’s us six games unbeaten, three draws in there as well but confidence is high in the camp. The boys are just looking forward to the next game and trying to get more points on the board.

“I feel like obviously we had a few 0-0 draws and after winning 6-1 at Hamilton it was all about getting consistency and scoring goals and defending well. We just need to keep doing what we’re doing and I’m sure we’ll be fine.”

After arriving from East End Park on a free transfer in the summer, Turner admits he has settled in quickly into life in Glasgow’s west end.

The 24-year-old enjoys the blend of experienced players and up-and-coming talents that comprise McCall’s squad and feels he is learning from his team-mates. Pointers from his manager, he says, have also been beneficial.

“I’m loving it,” he said. “All the boys have been brilliant with me and the gaffer, [assistant manager] Archie and [coach Neil] Scally have been great with me as well. It’s about producing good performances on the pitch and staying in the team.

“Definitely, [I’m learning from the manager]. He’s always chatting to me, telling me things I can work on or get better at.

“We’ve also got experienced boys in the team: Banzo [Stuart Bannigan], Brian Graham, Fozzy [Richard Foster], [Ross] Docherty, [Kevin] Holty, so there’s a lot of experience in the team. I’m learning off them as well.

“There’s a good balance in the team and a lot of the younger boys are learning off the more experienced players, who have played a lot of games. It’s a massive help to us.”