BY ALAN TEMPLE – @CCP_Sport
MICHAEL DOYLE is adamant there will be no Hampden hangover today as Morton aim to continue their surge up the Championship.
Jim Duffy’s men gave a decent account of themselves at the national stadium in last weekend’s Betfred Cup semi-final against Aberdeen, holding firm before Adam Rooney’s marginally offside opener broke the deadlock.
A late Kenny McLean strike added some gloss to the scoreline, but the former St Johnstone and Alloa defender reckons the Ton can take confidence from matching “the second best team in Scotland” for large swathes of the contest.
The acid test of that will come against Ayr at Cappielow as they look to claim a third league win on the bounce.
Doyle said: “The spirits were really high after the Aberdeen match. Obviously the results didn’t go our way but, if anything, it has given us even more belief and we can only build on that.
“After a nervy first ten minutes, the boys competed very well and we didn’t leave anything on the pitch.
“Along with the league form, there is a real buzz about the club and to prove we’re not a million miles away from Aberdeen – the second best team in Scotland in the eyes of many – is massive.
“The two games they played before us were 4-0 wins against Premiership teams, so that shows what we achieved.
“But we know that won’t count for anything if we don’t follow it up with a similar performance in the league.”
Doyle is acutely aware that, depending on results elsewhere, a win could take them to within two points of the playoff places.
And, with a squad packed with young talents such as Jamie Lindsay, Jai Quitongo, Jamie McDonagh and Scott Tiffoney, he believes they can cement a top-four spot as the teenage talents mature.
He added: “A playoff place was the goal at the start of the season and that is still our aim.
“It’s really exciting to be part of a squad with so many young players, and you can see them improving every single week. We’ll lose games and we’ll make mistakes but it will be great to see how far we can go.”