STEVIE LAWLESS admits that Partick Thistle have been a soft touch at times this season, but he says that the players are ready to stand up and be counted to dig themselves clear of the relegation zone.

Thistle kicked off a tough run of fixtures prior to the split with a battling draw against Aberdeen on Saturday, and they are now steeling themselves for a double-header in the capital against Hearts and then Hibs.

While there may not be many expecting Thistle to return to Maryhill from Edinburgh with much to show for their efforts in those matches, Lawless is confident they can upset the odds. And he insists that the Firhill players are ready to fight and scrap for some much-needed points in their battle for survival.

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“It seems that at points this season, and in seasons before that too, that we have been a bit of a soft touch,” Lawless said. “Losing late goals, for example.

“We need to stand up and be counted, and get as many points on the board as we can before we get into the nitty gritty of the post-split fixtures. Those games are going to be massive, and we have to go into them in a good run of form.

“I think we can be resolute when required, and it seems to be towards the end of the season that we show that for whatever reason. When it comes to the games that matter, we always seem to grind out results, and hopefully that can be the case again.

“People are not going to be expecting us to take anything from these teams, especially after the bad results against Hamilton and Dundee.

“We’ve only got ourselves to blame that we’re in this predicament, but I think we’ve got enough in the squad to go into these games and feel confident about getting points.

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“We showed that at the weekend. It probably wasn’t a great game to watch, we had a couple of chances and so did they, but there wasn’t a lot in it.

“So, we know we can compete, and we will have to do that again against Hibs and Hearts. We can’t make excuses, but we have had a lot of individual errors over the course of the season. We have to knuckle down and cut them out, because these teams will punish them.

“We have one of the best attacks in the league, so we know we definitely have the quality within the team to hurt these sides, and hopefully that will come through.”