JANUARY has been a busy month in Glasgow's west end. Between the seven new faces that have moved to Firhill, the fringe players that have left and the key members of the squad that have been tied down on long-term contracts, Partick Thistle manager Ian McCall is probably suffering from repetitive strain injury with all the deals that he's had to sign off on.

The latest player to extend his Thistle contract is captain Tam O'Ware, the 26-year-old centre-half who has cemented his place in the Jags defence this campaign. The former Morton man believes the Maryhill club are destined to improve their circumstances under the guidance of Ian McCall - although O'Ware is focusing purely on dragging Thistle out of the relegation zone for the time being - and reckons that his manager is the right man to do just that. McCall, he says, was a major factor when he decided to renew his terms at the club.

"I’m delighted to get it tied up," O'Ware said. "To get another two-and-half years here is brilliant for me. I’m looking forward to cracking on and hopefully bringing success to the club.

"He [McCall] told me his intentions. I’ve enjoyed working with him since he came in. He’s an honest manager and a bit old school with the way he is with his players. He’s everything I enjoy in a manager.

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"He’s honest – and I’m not saying other managers aren’t – but the way he values things, he’s honest with his opinions. He won’t hide away from anything and he keeps things simple. A lot of people try and complicate certain things but I’ve really enjoyed working with him so far.

"He’s building a squad that he thinks can challenge [for promotion] but the most important thing is to stay in the league this year. We’ve not been good so we need to turn things around now and hopefully we’re in the league next year so we can compete, but it needs to start this Friday against Ayr."

Thistle are currently propping up the rest in Scotland's second tier, two points behind ninth-placed Alloa and mired in the dreaded relegation zone. But despite the challenging situation the players find themselves in, O'Ware says that the mood in the dressing room remains upbeat - particularly after the host of new faces that have arrived this month.

"The dressing room is solid," he said. "We know it’s not been an ideal season but we need to try and stay positive. There’s no point in moping about. We know we need to put it to bed, get on the training field and work hard so it’s important that the dressing room stays positive.

"Everybody is settling in well. It’s an easy changing room to settle into – everybody is welcoming and everyone is getting along.

"Everyone that’s came in, I think they’re great signings. I’m a big fan of big Darren [Brownlie] and I played against Brian [Graham] a lot when I was younger when he was at Raith. I played against Zak [Rudden] at Falkirk and he scored a lot of goals there. Hopefully there’s big things to come in the future for us.

"[Brownlie] has just came in this week. I’ve played a lot against him when he was at Queen of the South and I think the big man’s quality."

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After missing almost the entirety of last season after picking up a knee injury in the third league game of the season, O'Ware is enjoying being out on the pitch once again, even if results haven't always gone the Jags' way.

Being sidelined for such a long period of time was difficult, O'Ware admits, and while he is still regaining his fitness, the centre-back insists that the best is yet to come from him.

"It was tough," O'Ware said. "I hadn’t been injured properly so to be out for nine months wasn’t great, but I’ve put it behind me and managed to deal with it and I’m trying to move forward now.

"It was tough mentally, being out in the gym yourself and not being involved with the team for games on a Saturday. But it’s part and parcel of the game and you need to try and deal with it and learn from it. I feel as if it’s benefitted me.

"It’s taken time to get back to a decent level. I don’t feel I’ve reached my best yet. Hopefully, with time that will come."

O'Ware spent six years at Rangers as a youth player before spells at Kilmarnock, Bonnyton Thistle and Greenock Morton. But when it comes to the best player he has played alongside, there's one man who immediately comes to mind.

"Banzo [Stuart Bannigan]," O'Ware asserts. "He’s different class."