Allan Moore Would Have Loved To Manage Morton...

... but the opportunity to do so came about at the wrong time.

In an interview with the Greenock Telegraph's Chris Fitzgerald Stirling Albion manager - and former Morton player (12 starts, 6 subs appearances, 1 goal in season 2001/02) - Allan Moore revealed that he would have loved to have managed a full-time team like Morton but that he didn't apply for the job because it came up at the wrong time.
With Morton in a direct relegation battle with his current team Moore felt that his loyalty to Albion and his chairman Peter Mackenzie meant that moving to Morton would be a betrayal.

Moore is quoted as saying: “Morton’s a big club with a massive fan base and they play the kind of football I like — good passing and flowing football. To manage them would be something I’d love to do. However, the job came up at the wrong time for me. I’ve a loyalty to Stirling Albion, to keep them in this league. I wouldn’t do that to my chairman. He knows I’d like a full time management job, but with where we are and where Morton are, I just couldn’t do it to him or the club. I didn’t apply.”

Ritchie Receives Golden Boot - From Morton Fans

Morton legend Andy Ritchie was presented with a golden boot by Morton fans at a surprise 52nd birthday party in the Spinnaker Hotel on Saturday night.

The boot - inscribed with the words 'King Of Cappielow Park' - was presented to Andy by journalist John Riddle (pictured, left) who is currently in the process of writing a Biography on the Idle Idol's football career.

According to Russell Steele's article in the Greenock Telegraph the author decided to present Ritchie with the boot to commemorate the Silver Adidas Boot he won in 1979 as a result of finishing 2nd top scorer in Europe which he had sold to a Morton supporting multi-millionaire.

Riddle said: “When I was writing my book, I wanted a photo of him with his player of the year trophy and an Adidas Silver Boot he received in 1979. Andy had neither, having sold them to a multi-millionaire Morton fan many years ago. I decided his birthday should be celebrated in style and managed to get hold of a replica golden boot — because he should actually have won that anyway.”

Coincidentally, Ritchie was also mentioned in today's Scottish Sun. Former Celtic and Scotland legend Billy McNeill talks about great free-kick takers - concluding that Nakamura was the best of them all.

On Ritchie McNeill says: "One player I particularly admired was [Andy] Ritchie because he had such a deft touch from set-pieces. Namakura has a bit of what each of those players [Davie Provan, Murdo MacLeod and Ritche] had. But I honestly don't think any of them had Naka's all round expertise."


New Ton Captain Would Like To Stay At Cappielow

Barry Smith replaced Stewart Greacen as Morton Captain on Saturday and told the Greenock Telegraph's Roger Graham that he feels priveleged to do so: “It’s an absolute privilege to be asked to captain the side, but I think, basically, it’s because I’m the most experienced player here. I’m an old head in a very young team. I can talk the players through a game and help keep them composed.”

Smith was also interviewed for the official matchday programmes regular 'An Interview With...' article on Saturday. In the interview he told Andrew Bowman that he'd "love to sign a longer term deal" at Cappielow. He says it is a possibility but it is out with his power.

He adds that he can see himself playing for a number of seasons yet and mentions that in 5 years time he will be coaching in the Quick-Fire questions.

I'd love Smith to stay on at Cappielow. He's an old head who adds composure and know-how on the pitch and experience and professionalism in the dressing room. I'd like to see him to sign a new contract as a player / coach - be that helping out with the first team squad or managing and coaching one of the youth teams. Smith has a wealth of expereience we could use at Morton and that we'd be daft to let go when he's willing to stay beyond his loan spell from Valur.

Rae Aims For SPL

In an interview with the Scotsman's Ewan Murray Morton chairman Douglas Rae says that if we stay in the 1st division this season we will attempt to push for the top of the 1st division and the SPL next season.

Rae said: "Our initial aim was to remain in the First Division this year, and look next season at what would be needed to push near the top of the table. Then, we want to make a real effort to get back to the top division. A club such as ours cannot possibly break even without playing in the SPL."

The hard part will be staying in the 1st division this season. Something he seems to recognise but also something he confidently predicts we will manage to do: "Truthfully, I do not expect we will be relegated, David [Irons] will reinstall the confidence our players need."

The chairman also talks of his sympathy for Gretna and his disappointment with Jim McInally's resignation ("That [McInally's resignation] vexed me. We had a great relationship for three-and-a-half years here, never had a disagreement or an argument and Jim was perfect to work with.").

Morton 1 - 2 St. Johnstone

Morton 1 - Weatherson (16)
St. Johnstone 2 - Milne (29, 40)

Att - 2,539

Morton (3-5-2):

1. Robinson - 6
2. Smith - 7 (12. MacGregor - 69 mins)
3. McLaughlin - 6
4. Harding - 6
5. Greacen - 6
6. McGuffie - 6 (16. Stevenson - 74 mins)
7. Finlayson - 5
8. Jenkins - 6
9. Weatherson - 7
10. Wake - 5 (14. Russell - 53 mins)
11. McAlister - 8

Subs Not Used:

15. McAnespie
20. McGurn

Greacen Smith Harding
Finlayson McGuffie McLaughlin Jenkins McAlister
Wake Weatherson

St. Johnstone: Main, Irvine, McManus, Rutkiewicz (James 67), Stanic, Craig, Quinn (Moon 85), Sheerin, MacDonald (McBreen 69), Jackson, Milne. Subs Not Used: Cuthbert, Weatherston.

Booked: Rutkiewicz, Quinn, Moon.

My man of the match: Jim McAlister

Sponsor's man of the match: Jim McAlister

Matchday Programme (Click to enlarge)

BBC match report: http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/scot_div_1/7257988.stm


Collins Believes Irons' Man Management Will Be Key To Avoiding Relegation

Davie Irons is a 'master in man management' according Derek Collins in today's Greenock Telegraph - and this is the main reason Collins believes Morton will stay in the first division this season.

The former Morton right-back told Roger Graham that there appears to be a fragility in the Morton squad and that Irons is just the man to change that. Collins said: “We’re confident we can move up and keep Morton in the First Division and we’ll do anything it takes to achieve that. There if a lot of ability in the squad here but there is some fragility. They’ve been losing goals, sometimes late in games, and we need to change that. But if anyone can change it, then it is Davie Irons. He is a master at man management. In a relegation situation no one knows better than us what is required. We’ve been doing it this season with Gretna."

To read the full article click here: http://www.greenocktelegraph.co.uk/article.php?sec=2&id=20208


GMST Fans' Charity Match

On the 10th of May 2008 the Greenock Morton Supporters Trust will be running the 2nd annual fans' charity match - titled 'Morton Aid - The Cappielow Challenge Cup 2008'.

The event allows Morton fans the chance to bid for a place in one of the two fans' teams. Bidding for a shirt starts at £100 while £300 will secure your place and gives you the chance to play a full XI a-side match on the pitch at Cappielow under the guidance of a yet-to-be-named management team. You will be kitted out in a full Morton strip (home or away depending on your team) which you will be able to keep as a souvenir of the day. You also bid in the knowledge that the money you have spent will be put straight back into the club by aiding youth development - so it's win win for Ton fans.

There are 27 places available. To bid email fansgame@gmst.org.uk - check out the links below for details on how to bid.

I asked Trust board member Bryan Purdue about the event and what they hope to achieve. Bryan said "The day is to give the normal fans a taste of what it is like to be a pro footballer. They will be coached by the morton managment team with a warm up and a team talk through to playing a full 11 a-side game on the Cappielow pitch. We aim to use the money raised to provide the Morton youth set-up with kit, transport and coaching for the teams."

This will be the second year the fans game has taken place (action from last years game is pictured top left, while the two teams are pictured above). On the 2007 game Bryan said: "Last years event went well, there were good goals, a good crowd and everyone enjoyed it." A couple of pals of mine played in the game last year and agreed with Bryan's sentiments saying it was an excellent day. In fact if you check the bidding both Chris (home team 14) and Gary (home team 15) have already bidded for a place in this years game.

Get bidding!

Details: http://gmst.org.uk/fansgame/

Pictures from last years game: http://www.tontastic.com/index.cgi?dir=2007-04-29-Supporters-Game&med=i&pag=1

Bidding and Line-Ups: http://gmst.org.uk/fansgame/bids.htm

Morton Fans Wish Management Duo Good Luck

In an article in yesterday's paper The Greenock Telegraph's Russell Steele spoke to some Morton fans to gauge their opinions on the appointments of Davie Irons and Derek Collins. The fans asked were John Gisbey, Stuart Duncan and Jim MacVicar and they all seemed upbeat and supportive.

Not all supporters had Irons down as their number one choice as manager but where the fans have been unanimous is in their wishes of good luck to the new management team.


Galloway: Irons Departure Is A Slap In The Face For Mileson

Former Gretna player Mick Galloway (pictured) has attacked Davie Irons and Derek Collins for leaving Gretna with the club in trouble and Brooks Mileson ill in hospital.

In his astonishing outburst Galloway told the Daily Record's Gordon Parks:

"The news that Irons and Collins have jumped ship to take charge at Morton has made my blood boil. I am still digesting the news but I'm angry at their decision to walk away and it has left megobsmacked.Brooks may be in hospital but what about his family and those close to him who read the papers? What will they be thinking about Davie leaving? This is the same man who I watched hug Brooks when we won the First Division title at Ross County last season before stating
he was here for the long haul and had just signed a five-year deal.

"Everyone speaks highly of Davie and tells me just how much of a gentleman he is but Brooks has given him everything and in the one week when he's needed to help the club through a difficult time he jumps ship.It's an astonishing slap in the face to the owner and I doubt he's even aware the two men who were in charge have now left the club in its hour of need.

"Brooks has shown loyalty, if any other manager had won as few games as Davie has would they still be in a job? I don't care what people say about the situation as I can make my own judgments and I think it's a shocking way to repay a man who's lying seriously ill in hospital. The one thing I'm sure of is that Brooks will be devastated at the news and that's something for Davie and Derek to weigh up in their own conscience. I don't care if the move to Morton has been pre-planned, it doesn't matter, as soon as they knew there was a serious concern both with Brooks' health and the consequences of that they should have stayed put."

In another Daily Record article, by Hugh Keevins, Irons defends his decision to join Morton. He counters Galloway's attack by saying:

"What I've done is join a club that is bigger in stature than Gretna. I'm excited and apprehensive at the same time. The opportunity came out of the blue and was one I couldn't turn down. I'm well aware I'll be accused of jumping ship while Gretna drown in their own problems but a lot of what has happened was none of my doing. There were times when I felt as if I was working with both hands tied behind my back and now I'm going to be my own man.

"It wasn't always easy for me to impose my thoughts and ideas where the team was concerned. There were times when I couldn't influence things I disagreed with. I picked the team but couldn't choose the players who were brought to be in it."

Irons did, however, admit that he felt guilty because he didn't get the chance to talk to Brooks Mileson about his decision to leave Gretna. He said: "I knew I'd be accused of insensitivity for leaving while the owner is in hospital. I couldn't speak to him before I took the decision to go to Morton because he was too unwell and that has left me with a certain level of guilt. But I will be making the effort to see Brooks once his condition stabilises and I'msure he'll understand it was a decision I had to take. It's a move I'm happy with."

Irons Is The Right Man For The Job

Morton midfielder Ryan McGuffie has told Bert Mitchell at the Evening Times that Davie Irons is "the right man for the job and the best bet to keep the club up."

He also comments on Irons excellent man-management skills and first class training. He is quoted as saying: "The first thing I would say about Davie is that his man-management skills are brilliant.He has that habit of knowing how to get the best out of players and that will be massive at Morton over the closing stages of this campaign. Davie's enthusiasm is infectious. He took training and it was different class, upbeat with a great tempo. But, from my time working under Davie at Gretna, I knew that the training would be good as he is an excellent coach. So I think that the appointment of Davie and Derek Collins as his No.2 is a great piece of business for Morton."

I could be wrong but the impression I got from McGuffie's comments were that Jim McInally's man-management and training were not what they could be, or at least much inferior to Irons'.

In related news McGuffie was banned from driving for 12 months and fined £500 after he admitted drink-driving at Dumfries Sheriff Court on Wednesday. McGuffie was caught outside his home at more than double the legal limit.

The story appeared in the news section of today's Greenock Telegraph. Morton chief executive Gillian Donaldson is quoted as saying: "As this is a personal matter for the player, it would be inappropriate for us to comment until we have spoken to Ryan, however this will be discussed at our board meeting later this week."

Let's hope he can move on from this quickly as he could be a key player in our attempts to stay out of division two.


Keep The Team In The First Division

In today's Greenock Telegraph Chris Fitzgerald talks to the new management team about their decision to join Morton and what their aims are for this season. Davie Irons and Derek Collins make it clear that their primary consideration is keeping Morton in the first division.

Davie Irons is quoted as saying: “As far as Derek and I are concerned, everybody starts afresh here and their challenge is to show us what they can do. We’re not overly familiar with the playing staff. We know the players that have played for us before and we’re aware of the ones that have played against us over the years, but it’s all about what they do from this day onwards. We’ve been charged with keeping this club in the First Division and that is our aim. Above and beyond that, we’ve not given it a thought."

Fitzgerald also talks to former Morton player Derek Collins who said“I’m delighted to be back here. It’s my spiritual home. I personally know how big a part the supporters can play at Morton. They are the proverbial 12th man. We are in a slightly precarious position just now, but with their help, I know the players will respond and we’ll start our climb up the division.”


Deuchar, Innes And Skelton To Follow Irons?

On the back page of today's Scottish Sun Gareth Law reveals that he expects Davie Irons to be appointed Morton manager in the next 24 hours after Douglas Rae was given permission to talk to him - as we know this turned out to be correct.

The reason I mention this article (to read, click image below to enlarge) is that at the very end it links us with emergency loan moves for Gretna's Kenny Deuchar (left), Chris Innes (centre) and Gavin Skelton (right) on the basis that "the cash problems at Raydale continue."

I rate all three of those players very highly. If we get the three of them in I'd go as far as to say there is no way we will get relegated.

Davie Irons Appointed Manager

Davie Irons has been appointed Morton manager according to an exclusive by Chris Fitzgerald on the Greenock Telegraph website.

Former Morton player Derek Collins follows Irons from Gretna to take up the assistant managers position

Name: Davie Irons
Age: 46 (d.o.b - 18.7.1961)
Position (as a player): Central Midfield
Nationality: Scottish
Former Clubs (Player): Queen Of The South, Kello Rovers, Ayr United, Clydebank, Dunfermline, Partick Thistle, St. Johnstone, Clydebank, Annan Athletic, St. Johnstone
Former Clubs (Non-playing): Annan Athletic [player/manager], Gretna [ player / assistant manager then assistant manager then caretaker-manager then manager]
Competitions: 2006/07 1st Division Winners (Gretna)
Others: Credited with a huge influence (some say more than manager Rowan Alexander) in Gretna's successes in his role as assistant manager - 2004/05 3rd Division winners, 2005/06 2nd Division Winners, Scottish Cup Runners-up.

On the appointment Douglas Rae said: "Dave Irons and Rowan Alexander achieved mightily and enjoyed a measure of success which few, if any, have ever before experienced in Scottish football. To select the right players, (Rowan’s job), and to be able to coach and mould the Gretna teams into being league winners in three successive seasons, (Dave’s job), by striding through the divisions and reaching the Scottish Cup Final is testament to sheer skill and ability.
"Irons is acknowledged as being a great coach and man manager by his peers and his ability is enhanced by his sports degree and his post graduate management qualification. "

Rae finished by saying: "I will personally be grateful if we can all now close ranks and give Dave and Derek a wonderful welcome on Saturday coupled with typical Morton support for the team."

To read the full Tele' article click here: http://www.greenocktelegraph.co.uk/article.php?sec=2&id=19996


Manager To Be Appointed By Midweek

Morton will appoint a new manager by "midweek at the latest" according to chairman Douglas Rae (pictured, left).

The article - by Roger Graham in today's Greenock Telegraph - also reveals that Rae had spent most of yesterday (Sunday) interviewing candidates and that there are three main applicants on the list. The main applicants are thought to be Jim Duffy, Rowan Alexander and Davie Irons.

McGuffie To Appear In Court?

A rumour on a Queen Of The South messageboard alleges that Morton midfielder Ryan McGuffie (pictured, left) was caught drink driving in Dumfries on Saturday.

The poster, who calls himself DUMFRIES_CREW, provides a link to a list of names due to appear at Dumfries Sheriff Court on Wednesday the 20th of February. The name occupying place 34 on the list is Ryan McGuffie.


Miller And Moravcik Latest Names Linked With Morton

In today's News Of The World John McGarry claims that former Celtic players Joe Miller and Lubomir Moravcik (pictured, left) have both applied for the Morton managers job.

McGarry goes on to say that Jim Duffy is the hot favourite.

To read the article click on the images below to enlarge.

Yesterday Radio Scotland revealed that Jim Duffy, Rowan Alexander and Davie Irons are the three front runners for the job after speaking to Douglas Rae.

Speculation on the unofficial messageboard: http://www.greenockmorton.org/forum/index.php?showtopic=19284&st=0

Dundee 2 - 0 Morton

Dundee 2 - Antoine-Curier (6), Swankie (8)
Morton 0 -

Att - 4,103

Morton (4-5-1):

1. Robinson - 5
2. Weatherson - 6
3. McLaughlin - 6
4. Smith - 7
5. MacGregor - 6
6. McGuffie - 6
7. Millar - 7
8. Jenkins - 6
9. Russell - 6 (15. Wake - 71 mins)
10. Finlayson - 6
11. McAlister - 6

Subs Not Used:
12. Walker
14. Greacen
16. Harding
17. Graham

Booked: Millar, Smith.
Sent off: Millar - second bookable offence (63)

MacGregor Weatherson Smith McLaughlin
Finlayson Millar Jenkins McGuffie McAlister

Dundee: Roy (Samson 34), Cowan, Dixon, McDonald, MacKenzie, Malone, Robertson, McHale (Daquin 84), McMenamin, Antoine-Curier (Lyle 58), Swankie Subs not used: Davidson, Worrell,

My man of the match: Chris Millar

Sponsor's man of the match: Kevin McDonald (Dundee)

Matchday Programme (Click to enlarge)

Dundee match report: http://www.thedees.co.uk/news_detail.asp?ID=2265

Tele' match report: http://www.greenocktelegraph.co.uk/article.php?sec=2&id=19957

Tele' match reaction: http://www.greenocktelegraph.co.uk/article.php?sec=2&id=19959


Applications Flood In

Douglas Rae's latest post on www.gmfc.net reveals that "many applications have been received for our vacancy for which we extend our grateful thanks."

He invites further applications (from 'suitably qualified and experienced managers') and makes clear that interviews will start soon as the appointment is urgent.


Hawke Rules Himself Out - For Now

In today's Greenock Telegraph Chris Fitzgerald talks to former Morton striker Warren Hawke about his name being put forward (by fans) as a possible replacement for Jim McInally.

Hawke rules himself out by stating that's he's not yet ready but believes he will be the man for the job a couple of years down the line.

He said: “There is no doubt I’d be very flattered to be linked to the position. Whether on a short or long-term basis, the role would always be very appealing."

“However, for the first 18 months since I retired, I enjoyed spending weekends with my family and it’s only this season I’ve been returning to various grounds around the country to increase my knowledge of players. To take on this prestigious role requires someone with extensive knowledge of all the divisions and I feel I’m still a couple of years away from this. That, linked with my current business commitments, means I wouldn’t be able to give the manager’s role the commitment it deserves."

So Warren believes that he is not quite ready because his knowledge of the lower leagues is not what it could be. He does, however, believe that no one understands the club and it's fans quite like himself: “The position should never be taken lightly. The need for a manager who understands the club, the players and the fantastic support is paramount. I believe in this area I would be the best candidate. "

Warren Hawke wont be replacing Jim McInally as Morton manager but I wouldn't bet against him replacing the man who does a few years down the line.


Morton Job Interests Duffy

The rumour mill is going to overdrive and one name keeps popping up in connection with the Morton manager's job - Jim Duffy.

In an article (pictured below - read by clicking to enlarge) in today's Scottish Sun Robert Grieve informs us that Duffy would love the job. Duffy said: "Of course the Morton job would interest me. I know from my time playing at Cappielow it's a fantastic club with huge potential."

Name: Jim Duffy
Age: 48 (d.o.b - 27.4.1959)
Position (as a player): Central Defence
Nationality: Scottish
Former Clubs (Player): Celtic, Morton, Dundee, Partick Thistle
Former Clubs (Non-playing): Falkirk [manager], Dundee [player/assistant manager then player/ manager, returned as manager for a 2nd spell], Hibs [manager], Chelsea [coach], Portsmouth [coach], Hearts [Director of football], Norwich City [assistant manager then caretaker-manager]
Awards: 1984/85 - Scottish PFA Players' Player Of The Year
Competitions: 1995/96 League Cup runners up (Dundee), 2002/03 Scottish Cup runners up
Others: Relegations - 1993/94 & 2004/05 (both Dundee), 1997/98 (Hibs - sacked in February of that season)

In researching Duffy's career I came upon an interesting article on the Dundee Mad website. The article is a balanced criticism of Duffy's time at Dundee but includes the line: "We feel that perhaps Jim Duffy values his own opinions so strongly that no other view gets a look in. That appears to have been his downfall as a manager throughout his career." The Dundee Mad admin sees this as a negative but knowing that he will be working under Douglas Rae Morton fans could see this as a positive.

John Davies, Rowan Alexander and Dick Campbell are other managers rumoured to be intersted in the job.


Clark In Charge For The Dundee Match

In a follow up to his post about Jim McInally's resignation Douglas Rae has used the official website to say that Martin Clark will take training for the rest of this week and will prepare the team for the Dundee match.

However it does not specifically say he will be in charge of the team at Dens Park although I assume this will be the case.

Thereafter Clark will leave his role as assistant manager.

Dick Campbell Wants The Job

Today's Evening Times follows the same route as the Daily and the Scottish Sun in rehashing Douglas Rae's post on http://www.gmfc.net/ to make a news story while hanging it on a headline ('Fans fury forced Mac out at Ton') that suggests that Rae has said the fans forced Jim McInally out of the club. This might be the chairman's private opinion but all he actually does is infer that the fans are to blame for our poor home record (absolute nonsense in my opinion).

The most interesting part of the article is the last paragraph which says: "A management team of Jim Duffy and Peter Grant has gained currency in Greenock, while ex Partick boss Dick Campbell, is said to be keen on the post.

I'm not sure just who the Jim Duffy / Peter Grant partnership has 'gained currency' with in Greenock. Jim Duffy yes but I haven't heard anything about Peter Grant. I'm also praying that Dick Campbell's interest is ignored.


He's Gone!

According to a post by Douglas Rae on http://www.gmfc.net/ Jim McInally is no longer manager of Morton after resigning earlier today. Martin Clark will follow him out of the club shortly.

The former Dundee United, Nottingham Forest, Celtic and Scotland player told Douglas Rae that he was resigning because
he thought that the best way forward for the Club was for him to move on and indicated that the only way that the players were going to find favour once again with the supporters would be if a new Manager was brought in

Rae goes on to express his disappointment stating that he accepted his management duos resignation with regret. He also makes an absolutely absurd comment blaming the Morton fans for our poor home record and finishes by wishing both men luck in the future.

McInally was appointed Morton manager in October 2004. In his 3 years and 4 months at Morton he won the 2nd division championship in 2006/07. He extended his contract in May 2007 by signing a 1 year rolling extension.

Season By Season Record:

2004/05 - 3rd in 2nd Division (1 point off promotion)
2005/06 - 2nd in 2nd Division (lost 1-0 in two legged play-off semi-final against Peterhead)
2006/07 - 1st in 2nd Division (Champions - 8 points ahead of Stirling Albion)
2007/08 - 9th in 1st Division (leaves Morton in second bottom in the play-off position with 12 matches to play)


2nd Division manager of the month - March 2005, November 2005, August 2006, September 2006, December 2006


Appointment: http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/teams/m/morton/3944357.stm

1 year rolling contract: http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/teams/m/morton/6635865.stm

McInally To Quit

According to an article by the Daily Record's Anthony Haggerty Jim McInally is set to quit as Morton manager.

The article states that Douglas Rae spent an hour with Jim after Saturday's last gasp defeat at home to Clyde.

However it also suggests that the chairman is 'desperate' to hold on to McInally and will try to persuade him to stay on.

I can't see it. I think he will force Rae to accept his resignation after this latest humiliation.


Morton 1 - 2 Clyde

Morton 1 - Millar (52)
Clyde 2 - McKeown (90), MacLennan (90 + 3)

Att - 2,239

Morton (3-5-2):

1. McGurn - 5
2. Smith - 7
3. McLaughlin - 6
4. Jenkins - 7
5. Greacen - 6
6. Millar - 7
7. Finlayson - 5
8. McGuffie - 6
9. Weatherson - 6
10. Wake - 6 (16. Russell - 71 mins)
11. McAlister - 5

Subs Not Used:
12. MacGregor
14. Stevenson
15. Graham
20. Robinson

Booked: Millar, Wake.

McGuffie* Smith Greacen
Finlayson Millar Jenkins McLaughlin** McAlister
Wake Weatherson

* McGuffie moved to a sitting role in midfield early on, then moved back to defence.
** Mclaughlin moved between midfield and left back.

Clyde: Hutton, Bestvina, McKeown, Neil McGregor, Campbell (Masterton 83), Gibson, Bradley, Fagan (Ruari MacLennan 80), Michael McGowan (Arbuckle 68), David McGowan, Clarke. Subs Not Used: Higgins, Cherrie.

My man of the match: Chris Millar

Sponsor's man of the match: Barry Smith

Matchday Programme (Click to enlarge)

BBC Match report: http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/scot_div_1/7233470.stm

Tele' match report: http://www.greenocktelegraph.co.uk/article.php?sec=2&id=19684

Tele' match reaction: http://www.greenocktelegraph.co.uk/article.php?sec=2&id=19685


New Morton Videos

A couple of posts on the Morton unofficial messageboard linked to two new Morton videos posted on Youtube and Google video.

Both videos have been added to this page: http://greenockmortonfc.blogspot.com/2007/12/morton-on-youtube.html

The first link is a a two minute film of Cappielow taken from the Wee Dublin End in 1980.

The second link is to a Scottish Cup tie against Aberdeen at Pittodrie on the 24th February 1990. Aberdeen won 2-1.

McGuffie To Play In Defence

Morton manager Jim McInally has decided to move Ryan McGuffie from midfield to central defence for Clyde's visit to Cappielow tomorrow.

The news appeared in a story by Roger Graham in today's Greenock Telegraph. Of the decision Jim McInally said: We are putting him back, especially for this game. He’s played there a lot for Gretna.”

The only problem could be that McGuffie made it explicit that he decided to drop down a division because we could give him the chance to play in his preferred position in the centre of midfield. McInally is aware of this and makes clear that the move wont be permanent: “It’s a stop-gap measure, and the player is professional enough to accept it.”

It's safe to say that McGuffie has been a disappointment since he signed at the turn of the year. He has failed to make the expected impact and seems to let games pass him by. My brother and I were talking about McGuffie and we both agreed we could see why Gretna thought his abilities were more suited to defence. I'd imagine he will fill Harding's place in the defence after a woeful performance last week. I expect McGuffie to come in and do a decent job in his absence which may well throw an interesting dilemma McInally's way in the coming weeks.

In other team news Allan Jenkins will make his debut and Barry Smith is expected to play in spite of his recent knee injury.


Keenan Signs For Celtic...

... "One Day Hopefully" according to Dean on his Bebo page.

Keenan started this season well but has spent the last month or so on loan at Ayr United where he'll be until the end of the season.


Morton 0 - 2 Queen Of The South

Morton 0 -
Queen Of The South 2 - O'Connor (46), Stewart (87)

Att - 3,506

Road To Nowhere - an appropriate choice of song by the guy on the tannoy.

Jim Thomson jumps highest - again.

Morton (3-5-2):

1. McGurn - 6
2. Smith - 7 (12. Russell - 67 mins)
3. McLaughlin - 7
4. Harding - 4
5. Greacen - 6
6. Millar - 6
7. Finlayson - 5
8. McGuffie - 5
9. Weatherson - 6
10. Wake - 7
11. McAlister - 6

Subs Not Used:
14. MacGregor
15. Graham
16. McGeough
20. Robinson

Harding Smith Greacen
Finlayson Millar McGuffie McLaughlin McAlister
Wake Weatherson

Queen Of The South: MacDonald, McCann, Harris, MacFarlane, Aitken, Thomson, McQuilken, Tosh, O'Connor (O'Neill 68), Dobbie (Stewart 75), Burns.Subs Not Used: Grindlay, Paton, Gilmour.

My man of the match: Jim Thomson (Queen Of The South)

Sponsor's man of the match:

Matchday Programme (Click to enlarge)

BBC Match report: http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/scot_cups/7221795.stm

Tele' match report:

Tele' match reaction:

Game On!

Excellent news - today's Scottish cup tie is on after the pitch passed a 9.45am pitch inspection.


Morton Reject £10,000 Bid For Millar

Morton have rejected a £10,000 bid from St. Johnstone for Chris Millar it emerged yesterday.

At the bottom of a Greenock Telegraph article on Allan Jenkins Roger Graham reveals that Jim McInally rejected the bid because he felt it was too late - the offer was made at 2.30pm on Wednesday - for him to bring in an adequate replacement.

Judging by the following quotes McInally felt that Derek McInnes had messed us about by leaving it until the last minute to meet Morton's asking price for the midfielder.

The Morton gaffer said: "I phoned the player’s agent last week to ask if Saints would pay the £10,000 by Saturday and he said ‘no’. I then had to make my signing plans with Chris still in my squad. Then, at 2.30pm on Wednesday, Derek McInnes phoned to offer the £10,000. After debating with Martin [Clark] we agreed that we were not in a position to replace him before the transfer deadline. It was too short notice. St Johnstone have only themselves to blame. They have had since Christmas [to come up with the offer]. We have our own club to run.”

The former Celtic player will now have to wait until the summer to make his move to McDiarmid Park.


9.45am Pitch Inspection

According to the SFA website there will be a 9.45am pitch inspection at Cappielow to determine whether or not the Scottish cup tie against Queen Of The South will go ahead.

http://www.gmfc.net/ also carries this news but also states that "the pitch is playable at present, this [pitch inspection] has been arranged in in view of the overnight weather forecast."


Harper Congratulates Morton

Former Morton and Aberdeen striker Joe Harper (pictured, celebrating a hat-trick against Partick Thistle in 1968) has congratulated the club on our Scottish cup victory over Gretna.

His congratulations appeared in his article for the http://www.thisisaberdeen.co.uk/ website on Wednesday.

Harper said: "Congratulations to my old club Morton who secured a superb 3-0 Scottish Cup win over SPL club Gretna. I began my professional career at Cappielow so it was great to see them humble a top flight club.Morton now face Queen of the South and have a great chance of making it to the quarter-finals."

According to Graeme Ross' Morton Greats book Harper (who has a chapter dedicated to him) scored 74 goals in 117 appearances between 1964 and 1969. He played 4 times for Scotland scoring 2 goals.

Morton sold him twice - firstly to Huddersfield in February 1967 for £35,000 (he returned within 18 months for half that fee) then to Aberdeen for £40,000 in September 1969. He also played for Everton and Hibs.

On page 90 of Ross' book Harper is quoted as saying: "When I look back on my time at Morton I think it was possibly the happiest time of my career."