Hard Times Ahead At Firhill

Last updated : 10 September 2010 By Queens MAD

Manager Ian McCall insists he has ambitions to take Partick Thistle back to the Scottish Premier League.

However, the 45-year-old's plans for this term are less grand in scope, with the club struggling financially.

"To survive the season and make sure the club is still here," was McCall's blunt response when asked what his targets for the campaign were.

"It's about making the best of what you've got and that's what we're striving to do."

Thistle sit in ninth place with one win from their opening four Division One matches and it could be a long, hard season for the Glasgow side's followers.

"The stark reality is that we have no money," McCall told BBC Radio Scotland's Beyond the SPL.

I had to build myself back up after being completely slaughtered at Dundee United
Ian McCall

"We have a proud history and the fans expect us to be in the SPL but the wages for two SPL players would probably cover our whole budget.

"Our squad is the best we can do. We made a decision to bring in the four older guys to help with the structure of the club because we have a lot of good kids for two or three years down the line.

"We've got five or six that, without rushing them and giving them the proper care and attention, can come through to the first team.

"Jackie McNamara and Simon Donnelly can still play a bit and they take the kids on a Monday and Tuesday, while Craig Hinchcliffe is crucial for his goalie coaching and Ian Maxwell will assist me."

McCall enjoyed success in the lower ranks with Clydebank, Morton, Airdrie and Falkirk before he was given a taste of the top flight by Dundee United in 2003.

His spell at Tannadice lasted a little over two years and the experience still rankles with the former BBC Scotland pundit.

"My ambition is as strong as ever," he continued. "I had to build myself back up after being completely slaughtered at Dundee United.

"I was completely and utterly shafted but that story will probably never come out.

"I'm older and wiser and I want to take this club back to the SPL.

"I've had a couple of offers in the last two years but I'm very happy here.

"I hope people don't see the fact that I live in the area and my son goes to school here as a lack of ambition because it certainly is not.

"The best job for me right now is Partick Thistle and trying to get us through this period."

McCall also voiced support for league reconstruction and an expanded top flight, saying: "If Ross County played Hibs tomorrow, if Dunfermline played Inverness, I couldn't tell you the results. There's nothing in it."

On the subject of a switch from the current system, he added: "It's common sense. Punters are crying out for it. Nobody wants this set-up. It's getting dull, it's getting boring.

"The simple arithmetic of it is that people want Rangers and Celtic at home twice a season but these days they don't fill the stadiums.

"If it goes back to once a season it becomes an occasion again."