May 8 2009 By Fraser Wilson
IAN McCALL has admitted the closest thing he has to a new signing coming through the doors at Partick Thistle is the return of on-loan midfielder Paul Cairney.
The Jags boss has drawn up a list of transfer targets but says he's nowhere near completing deals with any of them.
McCall finds himself being severely constrained by finances in his attempts to strengthen the Firhill playing staff.
And he accepts finishing second this season has only added pressure for him to get it right in building a squad to take the team into the SPL next season.
The only chink of light this week has been the agreeing of new deals with John Robertson, Craig Hinchcliffe and Ricky Little while negotiations with Simon Storey are set to get underway today.
McCall, who has been linked with a move for Ross County midfielder RIchie Hart, told the Glaswegian: "I don't think we will be signing anyone just now because money is so tight.
"I wish we could afford to bring someone in like Richie Hart. He is definitely a target but he might just be outwith our budget at the moment I'm afraid.
"We have re-signed John Robertson, Craig Hinchcliffe and Ricky Little and are hopeful of coming to an agreement with Simon Storey soon.
"But we are not close to bringing any new players in at this stage.
"The problem I face is that expectations are growing and finances are falling and that's not a nice combination."
However, when asked about the Partick Thistle futures of under-contract stars including Gary Harkins and Jonny Tuffey, McCall said: "I do not want to have to sell any of our players through the summer."
On a positive note, the return to Firhill of Cairney - who has spent the entire season on loan at Queen's Park - will add some new energy to the midfield department.
The 21-year-old was shortlisted for second division player of the year, something which surely reflects the fact he is now ready to step up to first division level.
McCall said: "We are looking forward to seeing how Paul does as it's a big step up from the level he has been playing at. But I'm certainly hoping he will be ready.
"Paul has a lot of energy and drive in midfield and he passes the ball well and certainly has an eye for goal as his performances for Queen's Park have proved this season."
Meanwhile Thistle are down to the bare bones for tomorrow's season finale away to Dundee. But the boss is determined to end the campaign on a high and cement second place.
"We only have 14 or 15 fit players but we want to end the season on a positive note," he said.
"We might change the formation slightly but the squad of players is the same.
"Obviously we will finish in second place no matter the result but it's important to me, the players and the fans that we finish on a high."