Partick Thistle defender Lewis Mayo reckons hectic fixture list could work in their favour as Rangers loanee discusses Firhill development
The 21-year-old is enjoying his second loan spell with the promotion-chasing Jags
and live on Freeview channel 276
Lewis Mayo reckons the hectic fixture pile-up that Partick Thistle are facing over the coming weeks could work in their favour as they prepare to play the first of three games in hand over Championship leaders Arbroath tonight.
Fifth-placed Jags have slipped under the radar in the title race due to a recent spate of postponed fixtures, which has meant Ian McCall’s side have played four fewer matches than the three clubs above them currently occupying the play-off spots.
It is a scenario reminiscent of last season’s League One title-winning campaign for the Firhill outfit as they begin to play catch-up.
Thistle have the opportunity to leapfrog fellow promotion hopefuls Inverness and Raith Rovers into third spot this evening when they host Greenock Morton.
Despite their lack of competitive action in 2022, Mayo isn’t too concerned about the effect such a heavy run of games could have on the team as the season approaches the business end.
The defender said: “I can see it going both ways. It’s physically demanding but psychologically it could be a real boost.
“It’s a chance for us to go and build up a lot of momentum and if you’re putting in good performances and getting results then you can build on that and take a lot of confidence into each game.
“I think after a bad performance or result most players would say the best way to move on is to fix it in the next game, so we can put ourselves in a really exciting position come the end of this busy period.
“Within the squad there is that experience and confidence that a run like that is absolutely there for us to do it again, but we can’t get ahead of ourselves.
“You take it game-by-game and right now for us that starts on Tuesday. We want to take three points.”
Mayo, who is currently on a season-long loan deal from Scottish champions Rangers, admits his time in Maryhill has been enjoyable so far as he takes on a more prominent role within the squad.
The Scotland under-21 international has established himself as a key player in McCall’s side and has formed a strong partnership with Tunji Akinola at centre-half this season.
The duo have played an important role in keeping 13 clean sheets in 25 appearances, which included a club record for consecutive shut-outs achieved earlier in the season.
Mayo stated: “It’s been really good for me, things are going well and I’ve taken a lot of confidence from it.
“I think it’s been good for my development to play every week in the same position.
“I’ve got a really good relationship with Tunji both on and off the park and the clean sheet record that we set for the club is something we’re really proud of.
“It’s testament to all the defenders and (Jamie) Sneddon behind us. It reflects a lot of hard work and the togetherness we’ve got as a group.
“Kevin Holt and Richard Foster are two experienced players as well who have played in the top league and had great careers already.
“They’re always good at passing on information as are the coaches. I think they’re great examples for young players, especially defenders.
“It’s a case of being fearless and really going toe-to-toe with everyone else in the league. We can take a lot of confidence from how well we’ve done that so far.
“You have to be ruthless on the pitch and if there’s a chance to go and take advantage of then that’s what we’ve got to do.”
Mayo feels his second loan stint at Thistle is bringing out the best in him as he becomes a more commanding presence on the park.
That has led to more responsibility being placed on his shoulders, but Mayo reckons it is vital for his long-term development.
He admitted: “There is more responsibility being a centre-half to have a good voice. Last season I was moved about in a few different positions, but it’s all been a learning process for me.
“I would say it’s been really good in terms of practicing doing it every week and doing it when we’re under pressure or when games are tight with five or ten minutes to go.
“That sort of responsibility is going to dictate how many points we take from the game and where we’re going to finish (in the table).”