MORTON legend Roy Baines insists Jim Duffy deserves to be named as the Scottish Professional Footballers’ Association’s manager of the year for guiding Ton to one of their most successful season’s in recent memory.

Ex-Ton goalkeeper Baines, pictured, is delighted with the progress his former team-mate is making at Cappielow and he reckons he’ll be fighting it out with Celtic gaffer Brendan Rodgers for the top gong come the end of the season.

He said: “I’m all for Jim Duffy winning manager of the year. I don’t see why not, with the resources he’s got compared to a lot of other teams.

“I played with Jim for two or three years and he’s a good, solid guy and I think he’s probably taken that into the Morton dressing room.

“He’s as honest as the day is long so why not? He’s done a fabulous job down here.

“I don’t think he takes any lip from the players. Benny Rooney was the same, wouldn’t take any back chat. Jim is very in charge of the squad for sure.

“I think it’s a good thing because you’ve got to have a bit of fear and respect for your manager. To win the award would be great for him and great for the club.

“I’ve been down once or twice and I’ve enjoyed it because the team seem to have clicked. They’ve come a long way, simply because they’ve got good players in the right positions.

“Good left-back, good right-back and obviously the goalie. None of the players take any messing about and we had a team very much the same. The Bobby Thomsons of this world who wouldn’t take any messing.

“So let’s back Jim Duffy for manager of the year. It should go to someone else instead of runaway Scottish Premiership leaders — and I hope it does.”

Hibernian season ticket holder Baines was in attendance at Easter Road on Wednesday night to witness the goalless draw. He insists he was impressed with Ton’s resilience and toughness on the ball — comparing the current crop of Greenock stars to those of yesteryear.

He said: “I was really impressed with Morton on Wednesday night. Jim has them playing in a good system and there are some really tough players who are not easily trampled on. That was the good thing from our team as well you had hard but fair players like George Anderson, Billy McLaren, Drew Busby. These players were hard players.  On the other end, I had a look at Derek Gaston and I was really impressed with him. 

“His positional play and balance from cross-ball situations were superb.”

The 67-year-old former stopper hasn’t had the opportunity to make it to Cappielow too often in recent times, but he admits he would love to see the crowds flock back to Sinclair Street, saying: “It would be nice to get the crowds back to Cappielow on a regular basis. That was one thing about our day, we always had a good crowd supporting us at