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This party won't be Taylor made

PARTIES are generally less fun if you have to host them and the same most certainly applies to being forced to watch another team celebrate a championship win at your stadium.

Partick Thistle's Lyle Taylor
Partick Thistle's Lyle Taylor

Few are keener to avoid such a scenario unfolding this week than Partick Thistle striker Lyle Taylor. The 23-year-old Londoner was playing for Falkirk last April when Thistle came to town to claim the 2-0 victory that allowed them to savour a return to the top flight.

On Wednesday night he will turn out for the Maryhill side in the knowledge that, depending on preceding results Celtic could clinch the maiden SPFL Premiership title on their patch.

"I hope the title party doesn't happen," Taylor said. "It wasn't very nice last year to be playing against Thistle at Falkirk Stadium and losing 2-0 in the manner we did. So let's try and make up for that this season and see it doesn't happen."

While his future team-mates quaffed champagne and cavorted around the place in various states of undress, Taylor made a beeline for a darkened room.

"I just wanted off that park as quickly as possible," the Englishman added. "I couldn't tell you what their celebrations were like. Although I've seen pictures. Most of them are of Conrad [Balatoni] naked with bottles of alcohol!

"But no, I definitely appreciate what it took for the Partick players to have that day. It was a massive day for this club and I am proud to now be part of this new chapter."

Taylor has scored five goals in 11 games for Thistle since he arrived on loan from Sheffield United in January, making his debut at Celtic Park. For a player who notched a whopping 29 goals in 42 starts for Falkirk last term, the fruitful spell has made him feel wanted again, after what to date has been a thoroughly dispiriting move to the steel city.

The Blades paid a fee for Taylor, but he was unable to make himself a regular starter under David Weir, then played just twice under the incoming Nigel Clough before he was deemed surplus to requirements.

With Clough's side having FA Cup semi-final to look forward to, and in the midst of a late play-off charge, it is another co-incidence that United's fortunes as well as Taylor's have improved since then.

"If you wanted to know what happened at Sheffield United, you'd have to ask the manager [Clough] because I don't really know," Taylor said. "It took me two games to go from starting and playing to not even getting off the bench. There was no explanation and it wasn't really the right time to be asking questions anyway because we weren't winning games.

"But that's football. Sometimes you're unlucky enough not to even get two games. Sometimes a manager makes their mind up about you without seeing you playing.

"I'm contracted until the summer of 2015 and I've not heard a word from anyone there since I came here. I assume the idea is for me to score goals then go back down there and try again but I wouldn't know because no one has spoken to me about that.

"Football is a very cut-throat game. Go round to a school and ask the boys what they want to do when they are older. Ninety nine per cent will say footballer. But there are harsh realities. We have a squad of 15 Under-20 players and every one of them wants to play in the first team. How many will? I don't know. Two? So the percentages are so small. So for me to find myself a job, I'm very lucky.

"I played against Celtic on my debut on New Year's Day and I think they're a very talented squad. You don't win any league by the number of points they are leading by being average or bog standard.

"But do I think we can get at them and give them a game? Yeah, why not? It will probably be the last time we'll play them this season and I don't see why we can't go out and give the fans something to shout about."

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