Campbell still on the Hunt

Last updated : 08 June 2005 By Mike

Thistle are now just a handful of players short of the number that will make up their much-smaller squad for next season, and with only one out-and-out striker signed, manager Dick Campbell admits that after beefing up his defence, signing a striker has to be a priority.

He said: "I am well versed on what is required to get us out of the Second Division. We have a loan system and I will use that to our advantage. But we have the basis of a strong defensive unit now. There are one or two other positions we need cover in, but you have to get the right blend and I believe we are well on the way to achieving that."

Trips to England, the Jags are rumoured to be chasing former Ross County man Derek Holmes who's recently being playing for Carlisle, and closer to home, talks with former Airdrie United frontman Jerome Vareille have yet to bear fruit.

Thistle have been linked with the veteran Frenchman for weeks now, and Campbell admits Vareille is a target, he added: "We have had talks with Jerome and things are not a million miles away. However, I have one or two aces up my sleeve and we will not be held to ransom."

The Jags boss also has former Motherwell prospect Stevie Nicholas joining the squad for pre-season training. However, the 24-year-old has lost his way since being freed by the Lanarkshire side 3 years ago, and he'll have a lot to do to persuade Campbell he's still got the talent that prompted Motherwell to pay Stirling £100k for his services back in 1999.