IAN McCall admitted that it was “incredibly hard” to break the news to Joe Cardle that the winger’s contract at Firhill wouldn’t be extended beyond the end of the month.

Cardle, 34, had played a key role in the Jags’ League One title tilt – providing seven goals and 10 assists in 26 games this season – but has been told that his services will not be required for Thistle’s return to the Championship.

The former Dunfermline midfielder chipped in with match-winning interventions at a few stages over the course of the season – perhaps none so vital as the two goals he set up after coming off the bench at East Fife, viewed by many as the catalyst that sparked the Jags’ late surge up the table – with McCall paying tribute to Cardle’s impact in Maryhill; both on and off the park.

“There are certain times in your career when it is incredibly hard to deliver bad news to a player,” McCall told the Partick Thistle website. “Today was a day like that when I informed Joe that he will be leaving Partick Thistle. He knows my reasons and they will remain private.

Glasgow Times:

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“Who knows where our season would have gone if Joe hadn’t came on at half time at East Fife and completely turned the game. He scored 7 goals, had 10 assists and therefore was a big part in our title winning season.

“He was excellent for me as a player and, more importantly, as a person. Joe and his family will always be very welcome back at Firhill.”