Morton gaffer Jim Duffy has described Saturday’s match against Dunfermline, in which his side won 3-2 in dramatic fashion with a late Jai Quitongo goal, as an “outstanding game”.
Speaking to the Press after the match, the Ton manager said:
“It was a great way to win it; an outstanding game. It was two teams who went toe-to-toe: we started the game great and should have been a couple of goals up within the first five minutes and then there was a bit of a misunderstanding = which Joe Cardle, who is absolutely flying at the minute took advantage of it. Then there was the penalty, I have no arguments about that and then it looked like the game was beyond us but once you get a goal back at the start of the second half it gives you a bit of momentum which in turn gives you the opportunity to throw caution to the wind a wee bit to see if you can get something and you always need a bit of luck to win the game in the last-minute.”
Speaking of the lifeline when Robert Thomson stuck away a defensive error from Callum Morris on 48 minutes:
“Of course, it gives you a chance in the game as if you are still struggling with 10 or 15 minutes to go, then the atmosphere changes and it becomes a little bit more frantic, bit, when you are in the position we were in, we were more relaxed and even if you only go and get a draw, it is a fantastic outcome, so, to get the winner, it is a massive bonus. I wanted to see a bit character from the players [at the start of the second half] as after Dunfermline’s second goal went in it looked as if our heads went down and we got a little flat – which is understandable as you are playing the side at the top of the league and have a lot of fire-power – and at one stage we were just kicking the ball away and nobody was taking any responsibility. Thankfully we got them in at half-time and, like I have said before as I have worked with the majority of these players over the last couple of years, the one thing they will give is total commitment and they did, in the second half in particular; although, I thought we done well at the start of the first-half, too. It was an open game, and a really good game too, but from my point of view, it is always a good game when we win.”
\Talking of the impact of hero Ja Quitongo, Duffy responded:
“Jai is only 19 and I think we sometimes forget that. When I hear mention of players being linked with top clubs, we always hear about how young they are, and sometimes people expect the finished article but he isn’t the finished article, he is a long way short of it. What I have said before, however, is that he has blistering pace and power; when teams are pushing up, as Dunfermline did do towards the end of the game, he is a great outlet, but, everybody contribute to the team and over the course of the season I am sure Jai will improve as an individual and make a great contribution.”
It wasn’t just Quitongo who helped rescue Morton in the second half, with experienced campaigner Gary Harkins also coming off the bench and scoring.
“We know Gary has that in his locker [the free kick goal he scored],” says the 58-year-old boss. “When he steps up, you just hope he hits the target: he has that quality and as I have said before, we need to try get these types of players into areas of the pitch where they can hurt people, but, we aren’t at a level where we can rely on our flair players to get us up the pitch – we also need to have hard work and organisation but at certain times in a match you can bring on these players then it gives you a different option. Connor [McManus] set up the long ball over the top for Jai to run on to as well. All 3 substitutions have contributed to help us get the victory and that is what you want as a manager, you want everybody contributing and I think we got that today. It’ll be a sore one today for Dunfermline, but, as I said, we looked dead and buried at half-time so to show the resolve and desire we did in the second period, fair play to the players.”