DEREK Gaston insists Morton’s impressive play-off push this season has been made all the more remarkable by the fact that they’ve been missing several key players for long spells.

Ton have been without Conor Pepper and Jai Quitongo due to longer term injuries and have been forced to play a number of vital games without a full-strength team.

Jamie Lindsay, Gary Oliver, Michael Doyle, Ricki Lamie, Lee Kilday and Kudus Oyenuga are just a few names at Cappielow who have missed matches.

Gaston – who himself was out with a knock earlier this campaign – reckons Ton’s ability to pull through without so many aces is testament to their talent.

He told the Tele: “I think pretty much the whole squad has been out, at least for a few weeks, this season. Everyone has had their turn.

“There are players though who have managed to come in and do really well.

“It’s as if there’s not been any injuries the way we’ve been playing.

“That’s all credit to the guys who are filling the gaps.

“It must be really difficult for the manager to pick a team when they’re staking their claim to be involved regularly.”

Meanwhile injured Ton ace Quitongo says his recovery following knee surgery is going well.

The 19-year-old has been out since December after being crocked during a defeat in Dunfermline, but he is on the road to recovery and doctors are pleased with his progress.

Quitongo, who’s currently doing rehab work following his operation, said:

“I’m on the bike, strengthening my muscles, and it’s going really well.

“I saw Professor Gordon McKay last week and he said I’m doing fantastically well and I’m at the stage I should be, maybe even a wee bit beyond it.

“I’m feeling positive.”