Loan star Lukeing to make an impact at Ibrox

Loan star Luke Donnelly is hoping to make an impact in tomorrow’s big match against Rangers as Morton attempt to pull off a William Hill Scottish Cup shock.

The Celtic forward completed his temporary transfer to Cappielow just hours before being thrown straight into the starting line-up away at Raith Rovers on Tuesday night.

Donnelly played his part as the Ton recorded a significant 1-0 win at Stark’s Park to bounce back from last Saturday’s 3-0 loss at Queen of the South and set them up for tomorrow’s fifth round tie at Ibrox.

The 21-year-old is keen to keep his place in the team, but whether its from the start or off the bench, Donnelly would love to make his presence felt in an encounter that will be screened live on Sky Sports.

He told “Obviously first and foremost it was good to get the win at Raith and get back on track after the result against Queen of the South.

“So it was good for the team, but obviously I was delighted to make my debut from the start. I really enjoyed it and it was different from what I was used to at 20s.

“The weather and the kind of game it was meant it was a hard start. At the same time I enjoyed it because it was different. At 20s you’re just used to teams keeping the ball and there not being a lot of physicality.

“Whereas against Raith Rovers we were up against three big centre-backs, so it was harder. But as the game went on I felt as if I kind of got used to it and enjoyed myself.

“It was an excellent result and a great way to go into the game against Rangers. Obviously we were all focused on the Raith Rovers game, but now we can look forward going to Ibrox.

“Of course everybody is hoping to play and if I start or even come off the bench I’ll obviously be hoping to make an impact.

“I’ve played in a few big games in relative terms, but I don’t think I’ve ever played in a game that’s on television. So that will be different, an experience, and these are the kind of games you want to play in.”

Glowing reports … Donnelly was given excellent feedback on working with Jim Duffy   © Gary Bradley

Donnelly completed his emergency loan switch in midweek and at the second time of asking after coming close to moving to Cappielow in the summer of 2015.

And the frontman revealed he looked at how former Celt Denny Johnstone and current Parkhead loanees Aidan Nesbitt and Jamie Lindsay had fared under Duffy’s tutelage.

He added: “I’m really happy to have joined, really excited. I got the call last Sunday morning from Chris McCart saying the manager [Duffy] had phoned and was looking to sign me.

“I almost came 18 months ago. It was a done deal but I did pre-season with the first-team at Celtic and got injured during it and that season was filled with injury

“So the loan didn’t happen. But it meant I had already spoken to the gaffer and knew how Morton played, and it came about again and I jumped at the chance.

“I also spoke to Jamie and Aidan. They said all the boys and the manager are great and Jamie said he thought it would be excellent for me and I’d enjoy the way we play football and fit into it.

“I also saw Stuart Findlay and Denny Johnstone come here and do well and they were in my team as well. Denny also spoke highly of the manager. They have all seemed to do well here and hopefully I can do the same.”


Image (main): David Bell

Image (inset): Gary Bradley