The relegation dogfight is well and truly on at the bottom of the Championship. With just four points separating the bottom five, it’s going to go down to the wire. All five teams will need a hero and Partick Thistle may have one in veteran forward Scott McDonald.
You’d be forgiven if you thought the Australian had quit football. After leaving Dundee United last summer, the former Celtic and Motherwell striker was left without a club. Whilst not officially retiring, McDonald seemed to be settling for life in the media.
Come January though and Thistle had snapped the forward up on a deal till the end of the season. Many were skeptical, was he in shape, could he still perform at 35 years old, having missed out on action for over six months?
The forward is now proving he is like a fine wine. He has looked a class above in recent games and has became the Jags’ main man in the past few weeks.
A natural goalscorer
At Tannadice last season McDonald was one of the Tangerines’ key men. He scored 15 times in the league, aiding United’s efforts as they reached the play-offs. He wasn’t able to score the goals to send them back to the Premiership but he did prove he was still able to perform at that level.
It was a shock when the Jags signed him given how long he had been away from the pitch. He’s rolled back the years though in yellow and red, with four goals and two assists from six starts so far for the Firhill side.
Against Dunfermline he was pivotal, scoring the equalising goal as the Jags came from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 against the Pars. It was so evident he was the best player on the park. It’s a wonder why teams like St Mirren or Dundee didn’t move for the forward. He clearly isn’t on the decline and could easily do a job in the Premiership.
Regardless of that, it’s Firhill which is his home for now. He may have lost a few yards, but that ability to know where to be at the right time and eye for a pass is still there.
McDonald could give the Jags an edge in the relegation fight. Queen of the South have Stephen Dobbie, but Morton, Falkirk and Alloa don’t have a player of the quality Thistle’s Australian forward has.
He’s won Gary Caldwell’s men points already in his brief stint at Firhill. He looks likely to be the man that can inspire the Jags and help them avoid consecutive relegations.