IAN McCall admits that he may be tempted to bring players in on loan at Partick Thistle from the Old Firm next season – but stressed that he does not want to rely too heavily on short-term stop-gaps to plug holes in his squad.

The Jags boss has a good relationship with both halves of the Glasgow rivalry, having previously brought players such as Rangers’ Stephen Kelly and Celtic goalkeeper Ross Doohan to Ayr United when he was manager at Somerset Park.

Both those players repaid the faith shown in them by McCall and since his return to Firhill 19 months ago, he has not been shy about tapping that particular well. Lee O’Connor was brought in from Celtic last January while in the same window, both Jamie Barjonas and Lewis Mayo were recruited from Ibrox. Goalkeeper Kieran Wright also arrived from Rangers on a year-long deal last summer, while defender Rhys Breen featured in the first half of the campaign before joining Queen of the South for the second.

McCall is understandably reluctant to rely too heavily on loan players from Glasgow’s big two but he insists deals can be done if the player in question has the right attitude – something he reckons has significantly improved during his 23 years in management.

“I had [Rangers assistant] Gary McAllister in my garden the other night and we had a glass of wine and chatted about a few things,” McCall explained.

“I think with the right ones [we could bring more in] but Partick Thistle isn’t a club that should fill up with six loan players. This is not that type of club.

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“I’ve got an understanding with them – I could get two, maybe three. When you get loans of the quality of Ross Doohan from Celtic or Stephen Kelly from Rangers then there might be work to be done there but they’ve got to be the right type.

“The one thing I’ve noticed about the loaning of young Rangers and Celtic players now is that years ago, their attitude didn’t seem to be great. Now, with the exception of one who I won’t name, every single one of them has had an outstanding attitude.

“Breen: outstanding. Kelly: what an attitude. Doohan: what an attitude. They were all really humble and wanted to learn so you would never rule it out.”

With four players from the Thistle Weir Youth Academy signing their first professional contracts last week, McCall is hoping that the quartet can press for first-team minutes in the new campaign.

James Lyon, Mason McCready, Gospel Ocholi and Billy Owens have all penned two-year deals at Firhill, with Lyon and Owens both making their first-team debuts in the second half of the season.

McCall has warned the youngsters that the hard work will now begin in earnest, with the Thistle boss singling out central midfielder for Lyon as one to watch for supporters.

He said: “We had to let a few of the academy kids go and that’s never easy but the four that we’ve brought in – I think they’ll all be huge assets.

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“I would single out James though, I have to say. Maybe just because he’s my type of player: I like players that look like coaching doesn’t really matter to them. He’s got this innate ability and balance that’s just great to watch, without heaping too much pressure on him.

“We’ve got a big decision to make with James though because I know the best thing to do with him is to send him out on loan, like I did to Stuart Bannigan when he was 16 to Ayr United.

“But the other half of it we’ve still to discuss is that he might come on quick enough to break into the team. So there’s that to think about too.”