Duffy: Dundee United draw was a decent point

Morton manager Jim Duffy says he was satisfied to take a point from Saturday’s third-versus-second clash against Dundee United here at Cappielow.

In what was the third meeting between the clubs this term, they shared the spoils after a stalemate in which there was no breakthrough after 90 minutes of compelling Championship football.

Gaffer Duffy says Ton always go out with the intention of winning the match no matter the opposition but that a draw was a decent result against a Dundee United outfit expected to challenge for promotion.

Speaking to gmfc.net, he said: “We wanted to win the game today. We didn’t sit back at any time and took the game to Dundee United whenever we could, so we 100 per cent wanted to win the game

“But I think the point is a decent point on reflection and if we take the game as a 90 minutes. For the first hour we more than matched Dundee United.

“I thought we started the second half really well. For the first 15 minutes, I thought we were in the ascendancy and had had couple of good efforts at goal and couple of good crosses.

“Mark [Russell] had a great strike, Jamie [Lindsay] had a great chance after a well disguise moment of skill, and I thought we were in control but then Dundee United, to be fair, made one or two changes.

“They started to get more of a grip of the midfield and started getting a couple of chances, creating a couple of chances going down the sides of us in between full-backs and centre-backs. Thankfully, Gats was at the top of his game at that stage.

“A match as tight as that can be decided on one opportunity if you take it. We had two or three and Dundee United had two or three later on the game.

“Over the 90 minutes I don’t think we deserved to lose the game and overall I don’t think it’s a bad point. Dundee United are expected to be challenging for the title alongside Hibs.

“So for us to compete as well as we have done, in all the games against them including today’s game, says a lot about the players. We are competing really well at this moment in time.”

Terrific talent … Manager Jim Duffy praised the performance of Mark Russell                                     © David Bell

Russell was deployed on the left of midfield for the second successive match, and Duffy felt the 20-year-old was a standout performer for his side.

He added: “Mark has been terrific. He’s been outstanding as a left-back and I’ve moved him forward in the last couple of games and always felt he could go and play there.

“I just felt that perhaps positionally, receiving the ball in certain areas, he wasn’t quite ready for it. But he’s now matured; he’s still only 20 but has a good number of games under his belt.

“If you play him left-back or left midfield, he’s a joy to watch. As a manager you enjoy watching players like that. He glides past people, has lovely balance and he’s brave in terms of taking a risk and all you can do is applaud it.

“He’s got really good awareness of where the opposition is coming from, and, okay, there will be times when it won’t work, but if you keep kicking the ball away, the game just becomes a lottery.

“If you’re the type of player who says: ‘I’m going to take a risk, I’m going to try and go past someone in a tight area’ then of course on occasion you’ll lose it.

“But you need to take some sort of chance now and again, or else why do you have footballers in your team? We’ve got players who will take a risk. Mark, Ross [Forbes], Jai [Quitongo], Gary [Oliver], guys like that.

“Mark is a terrific young talent and at 20 years of age, I think he has a real bright future – but hopefully he has a few more games of that quality to come with Morton.”


Images: David Bell