Captain’s Log with Jim McAlister

Hi everyone. I hope this reaches you all well. I write this week’s captain’s column off the back of a free weekend, which wasn’t ideal so early in the season.

We want to try and build as much momentum for our campaign as quickly as possible, and would have preferred to have another game especially following a very good result at Alloa.

It meant last week’s training was a bit more low key than usual, allowing boys carrying niggles and slight injuries to recover and get going again at the beginning of this week.

For the first-team boys in need of game time, the gaffer sorted out a bounce match against the reserve team at Parklea on the Friday.

It meant more minutes under the belt and I’m sure the players involved felt the benefit after doing so well in the Irn-Bru Cup tie at Dumbarton.

That is something that was very important from a squad point of view, as every single player will play their part this season, so it’s important that they’re ready.

Monday saw the start of the Reserve League in place of the development leagues, reverting back to the way the structure was when I first broke through at Morton many years ago.

In my opinion, this can only improve our younger players over the season as they will regularly come up against top players and seasoned professionals.

It was a fantastic start going to Falkirk and winning 3-0 with Denny Johnstone getting his first proper runout after recovering from his knee injury.

Denny scored two early goals, which will do his confidence no harm at all. He will be a big player for us over the season and we are looking forward to having him back involved in the league games.

This weekend we come up against Ross County: one of the Ladbrokes Championship favourites and a club who have recruited very well and boast bags of Premiership experience throughout their squad.

I kept an eye on their game last Saturday and they were very unfortunate to concede a late goal and lose at Hibs in the second round of the Betfred Cup.

It was frustrating sitting watching the scores come in, as we would have preferred to still be in the competition, but seeing how well the Championship clubs competed just shows how tough this league is going to be.

The standout result had to be Ayr’s comfortable win at Dundee. From what I hear it should have been more, with the division’s in-form player, Lawrence Shankland, causing my former club all sorts of problems.

Queen of the South took St Johnstone to extra-time before just running out of steam, and, as I mentioned, Ross County pushed Hibs all the way at Easter Road.

So, it will be a good test for us, but we will certainly be going all out to preserve our unbeaten home record, and obviously attempt to take the opportunity to leapfrog them in the table.

Hope you all enjoy the game on Saturday and we can give you plenty to cheer about.

C’mon the Ton!