IAN McCALL is confident that Tony Weston will be able to handle the step up to the Championship after the Rangers forward agreed a loan move to Partick Thistle.

The 18-year-old striker featured regularly for the Ibrox club’s Colts side in the Lowland League last season, scoring 35 goals in an impressive campaign.

Weston made his senior Rangers debut in the final match of last season when he came off the bench against Hearts and McCall believes the forward can challenge Brian Graham and Anton Dowds for a place in the starting XI.

“We’ve been looking for another striker to add to our group and we’re very happy to welcome Tony to the club,” McCall told the Thistle website.

“The numbers tell you that he knows where the back of the net is and at just 18, he’ll be keen to come here and impress.

“He certainly offers something completely different to Brian Graham and Anton Dowds. He’s got a bit more pace and agility and I think we need to have that option in the squad.

“It’ll be a step up for him, without a doubt, but I believe he’ll be able to adapt and be an important player for us.”

The Jags travel to Rugby Park tomorrow night for their second outing in the group stages of the Premier Sports Cup and Herald and Times Sport understands that the Jags expect to have completed another signing before the match gets under way.

The Championship club are pressing on with their transfer activity as McCall applies the finishing touches to his squad, and a further two new recruits are expected to have joined the Jags by the end of the week.

Thistle Weir Youth Academy graduate Aidan Fitzpatrick remains on trial at Firhill and McCall is hopeful of thrashing out compensation with previous club Queen of the South, who are entitled to a cut of the development fee.

The Jags have been heavily linked with a loan move for Rangers midfielder Cole McKinnon and speaking last week, McCall explained the areas of the squad he is looking to strengthen. The Thistle boss is after “a couple of wide players, some cover in defence and a striker”, as well as a central midfielder.

Thistle have already added Harry Milne, Anton Dowds, Aaron Muirhead, Jack McMillan, Steven Lawless, David Mitchell and Weston to their ranks for the upcoming season.