Defender Gavin Gunning is loving life at Cappielow and says that he is enjoying his football more with Morton than he has done in years.
The 25-year-old centre-half had been without a club since leaving Dundee United in April when he penned a short-term deal here in September, signing until January 2017.
Gunning has made a real impact in his time with the Ton, helping the club reach the Betfred Cup semi-finals and climb up to third in the league over the course of his eight starts, and he admits has been getting a real kick out of playing again.
He told gmfc.net: “This is the first time I’ve enjoyed football for a long time. It’s not about the money, I’m just enjoying going out on a Saturday and playing. You can be at places earning a lot of money but it’s no good to you.
“I think some of it’s to with the stage of my career I’m at. It’s one of those where I’ve just grown up a lot. I still like a laugh and a joke, but when I need to be, I’m serious.
“Everybody knows I like a laugh and a joke and a bit of banter. When it comes to playing games, when I’m on the pitch, I don’t mess about. I’m going to let the striker know I’m there when it comes up to him.”
Gunning has been a key figure for the team since coming on board, but he was quick to praise the contribution of his team-mates, picking out Mark Russell, Jamie Lindsay and Andy Murdoch for special praise.
He added: “It’s been working out alright. The lads in front of me are doing really well: Jamie Lindsay, and [Andy] Murdoch has come in and has probably been one of the best players.
“You’ve got Mark Russell as well. When I came in at first everyone was saying he was a good left-back. I think he’d say himself he was in poor form.
“But he’s kicked on and he’s in ridiculous form now. He got to be probably the best left-back in the league. Even the last few weeks he’s been playing on the left wing and doing really well.”
The Ton have been in cold storage following the postponement of their William Hill Scottish Cup third round tie at Beith due to a frozen pitch, and Gunning is fired up ahead of Saturday’s rescheduled meeting after a weekend without a match.
He said: “It was frustrating that the game was off because we’ve been going quite well in the league and wanted to keep our momentum going.
“This is one of those games that’s all about attitude. They will be a hardworking team and it will be their cup final, so it will be a tough game no matter what way you look at it.
“You can’t disrespect Beith; they’ve made it to this round. For a junior team to be playing against Morton is a good achievement and they must be buzzing and looking to turn us over, thinking: ‘We can take a scalp here.’
“For us, if we win comfortably, everyone expects it and no one cares, but if they get a draw or they beat you, you get heavily criticised. So it’s all about winning and getting to the next round of the cup.”
Image: Jonathan Mitchell