PARTICK Thistle host Dunfermline this afternoon seeking the victory which would secure a place in the Premiership play-offs, knowing that the playing surface at Firhill could be as big an obstacle to their ambitions of promotion as opponents Dunfermline.

The rutted,uneven, patchy turf has hampered their passing game and frequently forced Ian McCall’s players to bypass the midfield. They’ve taken just one point from their last three home games but winger Scott Tiffoney – nominated on a four-man shortlist for PFA Scotland’s Championship Player of the Year award – would happily sacrifice that recognition for the opportunity to return to the top tier.

“It’s nice to get the nomination but I’d trade it now for three points: it’s been a difficult few weeks for us,” said the 23-year-old.

“The major issue for us has been clear. We had all those games knocked off for the bad weather and because of the pitch.

“At the same time, when we had all those games in hand, we had three or four injuries and one or two Covid cases.

“The pitch has been a factor: it hasn’t been great. It hasn’t suited us and we’ve had to adapt the way we play. We’re having to go long more and we [prefer] to get the ball down and play.

“We like to play football because, at the end of the day, we have good players in our team. We can’t do that at home at the moment and it’s affecting us but it’s a case of getting on with it. It’s a thankless task at times, especially the way I like to play.

“However, we have to get ourselves into the play-offs and then you never know what can happen. Getting ourselves promoted is our main focus and we don’t want to let it slip. If we don’t make it this season then it’ll be a total disappointment.”