IAN McCALL is enjoying a well-earned rest after a hectic two-and-a-half years since returning to Firhill – but the Partick Thistle manager is keen to press on with the Championship club’s transfer activity upon his return.

The players have been on holiday after the defeat to Inverness in the play-offs but McCall has been hard at work drawing up plans for the new season. Still finding himself at the club’s stadium at some point during the day more often than not, he has been plotting his team’s tactics, securing new arrivals and creating a pre-season schedule for the team’s return to training.

Barring two days in Seville – as a former Rangers player, the Jags boss flew over to Spain for the Europa League final – this will be the first real holiday McCall has enjoyed since being reappointed as Thistle manager in September 2019.

A few former players were reunited with McCall in Andalusia but despite his best efforts, he was unable to secure a transfer coup for the Jags.

“Over in Seville I had [former Ayr United midfielder] Jamie Adams, [Thistle midfielder] Robbie Crawford, [former Ayr striker] Lawrence Shankland, [Thistle winger] Scott Tiffoney and [former Thistle full-back] Marc Twaddle all came to see me at my hotel,” McCall said.

“I had two days in Seville around a pool. I had to get Jamie Adams a ticket and I was phoning [Rangers sporting director] Ross Wilson two hours before kick-off.

“Jamie said to me ‘I won you two titles and I only had one leg, the least you can do is get me a ticket’. And I was trying to convince Shankland to come here and play for a season but I think he’ll be going elsewhere.

“I’ve been in all the time but it’s not a big thing for me because this is part of me, this club. It has taken a lot [to get where we are] and I think it will take even more to get back up [to the Premiership].

“I’ve been in organising pre-season, organising games and speaking to players. I’m speaking to the board all the time about what I can and can’t do. There seems to be a million and one things to do.

“The eight days I’m away I’m going to try not to do much but this job has been all-consuming.

“Through Covid, through demotion to League One, through getting £150,000 [in Covid relief funding, despite the club’s full-time status], through the East Fife board meeting [where McCall’s future at the club was under serious question], through the changes I made against Forfar [where Thistle’s promotion charge looked over as they scraped a 2-2 draw], through beating Falkirk 5-0 to win the league, through finishing top four this season…

“We are miles better than we were. The club is miles better but we still need to be better again.”

Partick Thistle season tickets for the upcoming 20222/23 campaign are on sale now - with prices frozen. To purchase your Thistle season ticket visit www.ptfc.co.uk/season-tickets.