Manager Jim Duffy says that his players are fired up for Saturday’s Renfrewshire derby as they attempt to claim what he believes would be an important victory in terms of infusing the squad with confidence and the fans with belief.
When asked for his thoughts ahead of the clash with rivals St Mirren, Jim said:
“It’s a game you always look forward to, but even more so this year. We’ve lost a couple of big clubs in terms of them moving out of the league, like Rangers a couple of seasons ago and then Hibs.
“They bring large supports and that creates atmosphere, so the derby match is the match that has that feeling with a good crowd and a bit of publicity leading up to the game.
“These are the things that generate a interest for supporters and the players. The players really look forward to this game. They’re fired up for it and they know there’s an extra degree of importance to the supporters.”
Duffy admits that it was only after playing in a Renfrewshire derby that he fully appreciated what the game meant to supporters of the clubs. He explained:
“When you’re not brought up a Morton fan or a St Mirren fan, you don’t quite understand the rivalry until you walk through the doors at Cappielow and the first game comes up.
“The whole build up to the game and people talking about it and saying: ‘You have to get a result this week; you have to make sure you win.’
“Whether they’re local or not, the players certainly become aware of it, so someone like myself learned that is a proper derby, a footballing rivalry. When the match starts that intensity if there for everyone to see.”
Although the Cappielow gaffer was not overly disappointed to open the Ladbrokes Championship season with a draw at Dumbarton, he feels that a victory in the derby would provide the whole club with a real boost:
“We know that on Saturday everyone has got to be at their very best to to try and get all three points, which would be an important victory.
“That wouldn’t just be in terms of the three points but psychologically it would give the players confidence and give the fans belief.”
Image: Jonathan Mitchell