Championship latest: Dundee United | Morton | St Mirren

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Dundee United manager Ray McKinnon has promised that his side will bounce back from the heavy defeat to Hibs and mount a Championship title challenge.

The Tannadice club fell four points behind Neil Lennon’s team after collapsing to a toothless 3-0 loss in last Friday’s top of the table tussle at Easter Road.

United, who were backed by over 2,000 travelling fans in Edinburgh, have now lost back-to-back league matches following a recent set-back at Dumbarton but McKinnon insists they will not give Hibs an easy ride at the summit.

McKinnon, whose side host Queen of the South this weekend, said: “We’ll definitely put a challenge in, I can guarantee that.

“We were very thankful for the fans being at Easter Road and I can assure you that we’re four points off the top of the league and we’ll be giving it everything from now in every game to the end of the season to give it our best to get promoted out of this league.

“I spoke to the players after the game and they knew exactly how I felt but we need to be mindful that we are four points off the top of the league and we’ll be giving it everything.”

McKinnon handed on loan Odense striker Thomas Mikkelsen his debut as a second half substitute at Easter Road and is planning to add at least one more fresh face during the January window.

He added: “I still think we’re in with a right good chance of winning the league, I’ll add one more player to the squad hopefully and we’ll definitely bounce back from this.”

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Morton legend Warren Hawke admits he is ‘honoured’ to have been appointed as the club’s new chief executive.

The former striker, who scored 53 goals during two spells at Cappielow, returned to the club in 2012 as a consultant and was also the chief executive of the Morton Community Trust.

The 46-year-old became a board member in June 215 but has now replaced Gillian Donaldson in taking over responsibility for the day-to-day running of the Championship play-off hopefuls.

Hawke, speaking to the official Morton website, said: “I was appointed chief executive at our last board meeting and I was honoured to accept the position. I look forward to working to continue to bring the club forward.”

Morton chairman Douglas Rae insists Hawke was an outstanding candidate for the role.

Rae said: “I brought Warren to Cappielow from Berwick Rangers in 1995 and again in 2001 from Queen of the South as I saw something special in him as a player.

“He served the club with distinction, scoring 53 goals in 247 appearances, and returned for a third time as consultant for club development in January 2012. Since then, his efforts in establishing our youth academy and community trust have been very impressive.

“We co-opted Warren onto our board of directors in the summer of 2015 and after Gillian Donaldson resigned, we felt that the next logical progression would be to appoint him to the vacant chief executive position, a role in which he will oversee day-to-day operations at the club.

“Warren is an individual whom I have always held in high regard on the pitch. I am expecting great things from him in his new post and wish him the very best of luck.”

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New St Mirren midfielder Craig Storie insists a Championship relegation dogfight is the perfect environment for him to gain more first team experience after joining on loan from Aberdeen.

The 20-year-old trained with his Buddies team-mates for the first time yesterday after agreeing a deal with Jack Ross’ side until the end of the season.

After making two substitute appearances for the Dons earlier this season, Storie is keen to get more game time under his belt and help the basement side close the seven point gap at the bottom.

Speaking to the official St Mirren website, Storie, who has been on loan at Brechin City City and Forfar previously, said: “I’ve come here to try and get some football.

“It’s obviously going to be difficult. But I feel like I can take it in my stride, prove that to the gaffer and help lift the team from the position they’re in.

“I’m really looking forward to the game against Dunfermline this weekend, and getting some game time. Hopefully I can bring something to the team and see where it takes us.

“I’ve waited a long time for first team football and hopefully I can get it here and show what I can do.

“I was buzzing to come in here on Monday and I can’t wait for Saturday.”

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