Jai disappointed not to score but upbeat about display

Morton striker Jai Quitongo reckons he and his team-mates did themselves justice against Aberdeen on Saturday – but the perfectionist admitted he could not be fully satisfied with his own performance.

The 19-year-old, who has already hit six goals in his first full season as a senior squad member at Cappielow, had the Dons defence panicked during Saturday’s Betfred Cup semi-final at Hampden.

Yet, despite feeling proud of both his own and the team’s display against Premiership opponents, he couldn’t shake the feeling he should have converted a 41st-minute chance with the score tied at 0-0.

Speaking exclusively to gmfc.net just after the full-time whistle, he said: “The gaffer set us out well, him and Hagi [assistant Craig McPherson] got their tactics right.

“We were playing against the second best team in Scotland and we did ourselves justice and didn’t look out of place.

“It took until after the 60th minute for them to get their goal and you could hear their fans were getting anxious and shouting at each other, so we were doing our jobs, and with the first goal there was a hint of offside.

“With the second one we are pushing to get that equaliser and left ourselves short at the back. Everybody’s disappointed we got to the semi-final and got beat, but I thought we gave a good account of ourselves and everybody should go home proud.

“I’m my own biggest critic, though, and obviously I’m disappointed because with the first chance I thought I maybe should have scored it, but the guy [Dons keeper Joe Lewis] is massive and I never realised how big he was until he was coming out at me.

“I didn’t want to open out my body and try and bend it round him because he has massive, long arms and might have been thinking I was going to do that anyway. Obviously, he’s saved it with his foot, so if I’d lifted it a wee bit it would have gone in.

“I will think about it for a while just now but when I get in I’ll just leave it because you can’t dwell on missed chances. We’ve got Ayr on Saturday and then St Mirren on the Tuesday, two hard games, and we can hopefully take what we’ve done in this game into those ones.”

Menace … Quitongo holds off Dons skipper Graeme Shinnie                                                                 © David Bell

Quitongo has been widely reported to be attracting attention from clubs across the country and his star continued to rise in front of a wider audience due to the game being screened live on BT Sport, and the teenager admitted he relished the occasion.

He added: “I’ve enjoyed the experience; I thought it was brilliant. Obviously you get nervous but as soon as the whistle goes you’re fine and I enjoyed every minute of the match. My family and friends were here and it’s a good day out for them.

“We’ve got a young squad, and that today was a benchmark for everybody and what we want to achieve. We all want to push on, do well and have more experiences like this.”


Images: David Bell