Apr 30 2009 By Fraser Wilson
LUCAS AKINS has thanked Partick Thistle fans for their support during his short, stop-start spell at Firhill and has backed the Jags to clinch promotion to the SPL.
Akins' loan deal at Thistle came to an abrupt end this week as he headed back to Hamilton Accies after making nine appearances and scoring one goal.
Just how vital that goal - in the 1-0 win over Morton - might be awaits to be seen.
Certainly the 20-year-old Englishman hopes it was enough to help Thistle overhaul St Johnstone in the race for the First Division title.
He told the Glaswegian: "I've enjoyed every minute of my time at Partick and I hope that I helped a little bit.
"I certainly think the Jags have what it takes to go up to the SPL and I will be keeping my eye on them. The players there will not be giving up now, they will be going full on for promotion.
"It would be nice reward for the fans who are very supportive there and who, I felt, were certainly fair to me even though I felt my best form was away from home.
"So the title race is definitely still open. St Johnstone have two very hard games left and the pressure is on them to win one of them."
The giant striker certainly made an impression on Jags fans with his physical presence causing opposition defences all sorts of problems.
But it took a full month for him to establish himself in the team after picking up an injury after his debut against Queen of the South.
Akins admits he was surprised to be told he was going back to Hamilton - even though he can't play for Accies again this season either.
He said: "It's disappointing that the loan deal has come to such an abrupt end because I thought I was at Thistle until the end of the season.
"Not only that but I was just coming onto a game, I feel, after a frustrating start with injury.
"Now my season is over because I can't play for Hamilton as I go back there after the March 31 deadline.
"The manager Billy Reid has been good with me and said I can still help keep the boys gee'd up in the dressing room.
"But I will have to wait until next season to play again.
"It would be perfect for me if I found myself playing against Partick next season because I would love to see them in the SPL."