Partick: Stevenson looks to past to inspire Jags

Ryan Stevenson: Beat Celtic. Picture: SNS
Ryan Stevenson: Beat Celtic. Picture: SNS
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RYAN Stevenson hopes to fire himself up for Partick Thistle’s clash with Celtic tonight night by watching re-runs of his previous triumphs against the Parkhead club.

Stevenson is one of just three members of the Firhill squad to have tasted victory against the Celtic, along with Paul Gallacher and Kallum Higginbotham.

The Partick forward was a second-half substitute for Hearts when they beat Neil Lennon’s side 2-0 in November 2010 at Tynecastle, then put the seal on another win 11 months later with a late strike as the Gorgie side repeated that scoreline.

But having swapped Edinburgh for Glasgow’s west end, the 30-year-old knows Thistle will need to be at the top of their game if they are to record their first win over their city rivals since 1995.

Partick suffered a crushing blow on Saturday as Inverness knocked them out of the William Hill Scottish Cup. But Stevenson believes digging out the footage of those two Hearts successes could re-ignite his flagging confidence ahead of meeting Ronny Deila’s men.

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He said: “I’ve only beaten Celtic twice in my career, so far. The last time I managed to get a result over Celtic with Hearts, Paulo Sergio was under massive pressure at the time and we needed the victory – but we managed to do it. So after the disappointment of the weekend hopefully we can get it together and galvanise ourselves.

“I’m not usually the type of guy who looks back on matches from the past, I’m more of a here-and-now type of guy. But now it’s been mentioned, I might watch them back and try to take some confidence from it.”

Lyle Taylor netted on his return to the Jags line-up after sealing a loan move back to Maryhill from Scunthorpe. But it was not enough to stave off a 2-1 defeat to Caley Thistle.

Tonight’s game was originally scheduled for 1 January but was postponed after heavy rains flooded the Firhill pitch.

The re-arranged date has now cost Deila the use of injured duo Mikael Lustig and Kris Commons, but Stevenson knows Celtic can call on understudies who are just as dangerous.

He said: “They have plenty of top players and even with Commons and Lustig out, it will still be a difficult match for us.”