Duffy: I see Gary as a central midfielder

Manager Jim Duffy says he will look to harness summer signing Gary Harkins’ playmaking talents by using him primarily as a central midfielder in the coming season.

Harkins has featured in a number of different positions over the course of his career, with Ayr United using the 32-year-old as an attacking option at the top end of the park last term.

Duffy, though, has started with the Greenock native as the pivot in a midfield three in pre-season friendlies at Stenhousemuir and Turriff United.

And the Ton boss revealed that, although he may deploy him in different roles over the course of the campaign, he signed the former Dundee and Kilmarnock man to play in the middle of the park first and foremost.

He told gmfc.net: “I spoke to Gary before we brought him to the club and I said to him that I saw him more in a central midfield role, trying to get on the ball and make passes. I feel that he’s got that quality.

“I’m not saying we’ll never play him at the top end of the pitch, but I explained to Gary before we signed him that that was the role I saw him playing, because he’s a creative player.

“In our pre-season friendlies, Gary has got on the ball a huge number of times, and that’s what you want from your central midfield player.

“He’s got a bit to learn about the defensive side, although he can play it, it’s not a natural for him to be defensive-minded, so there have been a couple of times when it’s been on for him to clear his lines but he’s brought the ball down.

“That [clearing his lines] isn’t something I want him to do too often, but there might be one or two occasions where he just has to turn the oppostition around and take the pressure off the defenders.

“But overall he has been terrific in terms of getting on the ball and controlling the game, dictating how we play. That’s what we’ve brought him here for and he’s shown he’s certainly more than capable of doing that.”


Image: Gary Bradley