Ross Docherty insists that he and his Partick Thistle team-mates will be ready from the get-go this evening at Somerset Park as Kris Doolan’s side look to book their place in the cinch Premiership play-off final.

The Jags hold a commanding 3-0 lead from the first leg at Firhill a week ago that stretched their unbeaten run to nine matches as the campaign approaches its climax, and the men from Maryhill have built up a formidable head of steam just as it matters most.

Momentum can be an amorphous quality in football but the Thistle captain is convinced that his club have it in spades ahead of tonight’s encounter with Ayr United. Some teams might be tempted to park the bus and defend their three-goal cushion with so much at stake but the Jags will be heading to Ayrshire with the firm belief that attack is the best form of defence.

“I think you can feel it all around the club,” said the midfielder. “Even the fans are buying into it as well.

“It’s been a bit of a roller-coaster season all in but since Kris has come in he has tried to give a wee bit of solidity for what we’re doing. That’s what we’ve tried to put on the park and now that we are in the play-offs, we have got that momentum.

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“We are trying to take that on and you saw on Friday night that we are electric going forward at times.

“I think if you look at the Queen’s Park game [in the previous round] – we were one goal up and they missed a chance to go level, but when we scored it was almost just like ‘right, we will play this game as it is’.

“We can only play that way. I am not saying we are a one-trick pony but we have got attacking players in the team and we might as well go and use them.

“Come Friday night, that’s what we’re going to try and do. I’m not saying we are going to go gung-ho but if we go into the game thinking we’ll just sit in and try and take a 0-0, it’s a negative vibe and it’s going to fester throughout the team.”

Thistle will be the favourites to progress this evening but Docherty and the rest of the squad are not taking anything for granted. He remains confident that the Jags will see their task through and get over the line, and he knows that now is no time to allow even a slither of complacency to creep in.

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“It shouldn’t,” he asserted. “These things can happen in games but I think we have got to be professional and show leadership all over the pitch.

“I think we have done that so far in the [play-off] games. Even the Queen’s Park game, we took a lead there. It wasn’t such a big lead but we try to cut out that complacency and give ourselves a platform to go and succeed.

“I think the big one for us is that we are playing with confidence and we have got players – and I’m not being arrogant – but there are loads of players who could go and play at that [Premiership] level.

“Not easily, but there’s not much difference between the bottom six and the top end of the Championship. So we are going in with confidence and that’s obviously a massive thing for us. For us, it’s about getting through Friday night and see where it takes us.”

One need only watch the Jags’ first goal against Ayr last week to spot the attacking vim and vigour that Doolan has instilled in the team since the club legend replaced Ian McCall as manager in February.

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It was scored by right-back Jack McMillan as he burst into the box and rifled home from a narrow angle, but eagle-eyed viewers will have noticed that it was left-back Kevin Holt lurking at the back post, demanding the ball for an easy tap-in. The pair are nominally defenders, yet they also happened to be Thistle’s two most advanced players as the deadlock was broken.

“We spoke about that when we did a wee bit of analysis on the game,” Docherty added. “We are trying to get guys into the box and I think that’s been one of the good things for me in these last few play-off games.

“I am kind of sitting off as I usually do and so is whoever is next to me, whether that’s Banzo [Stuart Bannigan] or Kyle [Turner]. But the rest of the players, apart from the back two, are pretty much in the box.

“I think you can look at that one way, as if we’re going a wee bit too much, but we have got that protection behind us.

“It’s about us taking the game to teams and we know we have got quality when it goes in the box, so why not try and get in there in numbers and try and make a better chance to score?”