DANNY MULLEN may have been without a club this summer but the striker has revealed that training sessions with Hearts centre-half Craig Halkett helped him maintain his fitness ahead of sealing a move to Firhill.

The 27-year-old centre-forward left Dundee at the end of last season once his contract with the Tayside club had expired, and the former Livingston and St Mirren attacker signed a one-year deal with Partick Thistle on Thursday.

Scotland internationalist Craig Halkett had to undergo surgery after May’s Scottish Cup final and Mullen thinks that training alongside his old friend helped motivate him over the summer while he was on the lookout for a new employer.

“I mostly trained on my own but when it came time to go to the gym I did that with Craig Halkett, who’s a good mate,” Mullen explained.

“He was just coming back from injury as well so it was good timing for both of us. We normally help each other every year with the stuff you need to do on your own before you report back for pre-season training.

“Normally we push each other but this year we just did what we could. Craig wasn’t able to do any of the running after having his operation but he did the upper-body work with me – all the long, hard runs I did by myself.

“It’s a long day when you’re doing double sessions on your own and this was the first time I’d had to do that so it was hard but enjoyable - there was no pressure on me and I’ve come back and hit the ground running.

“When you’re doing it as a team then you push each other on but it’s harder mentally when you’re doing it yourself but having done it has put me in a good place. I’ve come back in good shape and now I just need to get the work on the ball done.

“As for Craig, he did really well last season and got himself into the Scotland squad. I was delighted to see he played in a friendly recently so he’ll be back to full fitness soon.”

Mullen – who hopes to be involved in this afternoon’s final Premier Sports Cup group stage fixture at home to Montrose – knocked back the offer of a contract extension at Dens Park and rejected numerous advances from down south to sign for Thistle.

Now that he is a bonafide Jag, he plans on forcing his way into manager Ian McCall’s plans and takes heart from his goalscoring return last season, where he finished as Dundee’s top scorer in the Premiership.

“I was delighted to get the deal done and I managed a training session with the boys this morning,” Mullen said. “There were options down south for me but I spoke with the manager and the location suited my family plus Thistle is a club I can see doing well this season.

“On top of that, their style of playing is easy on the eye and their pitch has improved a lot, which will also help them.

“I’ve kept myself ticking over so it’s just match-fitness I’m missing at the moment but I’m in the squad so we’ll see what happens.

“The way the team plays should benefit me. I came to Firhill and watched them a few times last season because I knew a few of the boys here and I could picture myself getting on the end of some of the chances they were creating. Hopefully, that will happen now.

“Fortunately, the boys have put themselves in a good position and a win against Montrose will take us through to the knockout stage.

“[Dundee] offered me a contract and the travelling was part of it but there were other factors which were personal to me so I decided to look elsewhere.

“Now I want to get into double figures for the season. I scored seven last time out but that was in the Premiership. There will be strong competition but I also want to be the top goalscorer at the club.”