WHILE Ian McCall has been assembling his squad over the summer and applying the finishing touches with the transfer deadline looming, Brian Graham has been licking his lips at the prospect of lining up alongside his new team-mates.

As a traditional centre-forward, the 33-year-old is reliant on his relationships with the wide players selected by McCall. His partnership with Scott Tiffoney towards the end of last season helped the Jags’ title bid over the line and now that new arrivals in the form of former Ayr United midfielder Cammy Smith and Rangers winger Jake Hastie have signed on the dotted line at Firhill, the veteran striker is looking forward to the benefits that accompany having natural wide players in the starting line-up – starting with today’s visit of Morton.

“To be honest with you, over the course of my career I think if I am playing with an out-and-out winger, I seem to always do well because I thrive off the service,” he explained.

“So getting [Hastie] in from Rangers is a big win, but I think Cammy Smith has come in and he has looked very lively in training, so we’re building a good squad here.

“There has been a lot of work being done [on the training pitch]. Obviously they’re new to the squad but we’re still building and we know what they’re like, we have played against them before and they have added quality to our squad and we have seen that in training.”

The addition of Hastie was a particularly eye-catching one. After bursting onto the scene with Motherwell two and a half years ago, the precocious winger’s career has stalled somewhat as he has struggled to break into the first-team squad at Ibrox.

READ MORE: McCall calls for perspective in wake of Arbroath defeat

Graham was as pleased as anyone when the year-long loan for the Fir Park academy graduate was confirmed but rejected the notion that the deal is something of a coup for the Jags.

“I was delighted [when Hastie signed],” he added. “I’ve already told him when he makes his debut and he doesn’t set me up then we’ll fall out!

“I wouldn’t really say it was a coup, I think we’re a big club and Jake has not played a lot at Rangers. He needs to come and prove himself again.

“It is not as if he is just going to walk in here and play every week; that’s not what it’s like. We have got a good squad of players and I think he knows that.”

It isn't just the likes of Hastie and Smith that will be getting wide, though. After admitting he has his own individual target in mind for and end-of-season goal tally and refusing to divulge the magic number ("I'm not telling you"), Graham's response when pressed on the issue was good-natured, if a little curt.

"Stop trying to fish! I told you I’m not telling you," came the reply with a cheeky grin.