Sixth plays eighth in tomorrow's Championship match at Cappielow with Morton playing under new manager Jonatan Johansson for the first time at home. Allan Johnston will remove his tracksuit from its shoogly peg and aim for a second League victory of the season and the first since opening day. Neither side have been prolific in front of goal but Morton have by far the better defensive record going into the game.
Here is the current Championship table:
Two successive clean sheets, against Boreham Wood and Alloa, have provided some type of basis for an improvement in results providing we can also find a way to score at the other end. Tomorrow's game will provide a far stiffer test than we have faced on the past 2 Saturdays. Morton have assembled a decent squad with players such as Denny Johnstone, Chris Millar, Jim McAlister and Michael Tidser, all of whom are better than dependable Championship players, the type that could help the Greenock team sneak into a top 4 promotion play-off place come the end of the season. To achieve a positive result in this game, we will need a much improved performance from the Pars team than we have watched over the past few weeks, one that echoes the best of this season: the games against Dundee and Dundee United away and Hearts at home.
PARS TEAM, FORMATION ETC
Ryan Williamson is an injury doubt for tomorrow but assuming he is fit, I would move James Craigen to right midfield, and play a 4-4-1-1 system with Louis Longridge playing just behind Faissal. I hope to see the ball on the grass as opposed to rising and dipping in the Renfrewshire air, and with that in mind I have selected Aidan Connolly on the left wing. Let's not ask our top striker to battle in the air with much taller and more physical opponents, but instead get the ball on the ground and pass, pass, pass.
Here is my preferred Pars line-up:
After manager Ray McKinnon jumped ship to Falkirk, Morton were quick to appoint Jonatan Johansson as McKinnon's replacement. The former Finnish international striker, who had a period as Morton's youth team coach in 2012, is in his first managerial role after a coaching roles at Motherwell (2012-2015) and then as assistant manager for both the Finnish international team and Rangers.
Johansson's first game in charge of Morton ended in a 1-1 draw at Tannadice, losing an equaliser in injury time. After the game, he had this to say:
''We have to be clinical when we are on top and have chances. We also have to learn how important the small details are in set plays and how important it is to get the second goal when teams against us are taking risks. When you're leading, game management is a skill and is something we need to get better at.''
Regarding his team selection, Johansson said: ''It's easy to look too much into your opponents' strengths. We have to line up in a way that we can hurt them: be positive, get the ball into their half. If you sit back, it is a negative and gives the opponents confidence.''