MARK Russell hopes to be recalled to the Morton starting lineup this weekend after missing Saturday’s defeat to Raith Rovers in Kirkcaldy.

Russell dropped to the bench at Stark’s Park as Jim Duffy shuffled his pack in the hopes of ending his side’s winless streak that now sits at six fixtures. 

But the left-back insists he’ll use it as motivation to improve as Ton continue their charge to seal a play-off spot against Ayr United.

He told the Tele: “I thought we actually did alright on Saturday, we hit the post a couple of times and were just unlucky. But that happens to every team, hopefully we can keep working hard and it’ll change as soon as possible.

“The gaffer didn’t really mention anything to me in particular, he just said that he was picking the team and he was making a couple of changes.

“I’m hoping to be back in the team this weekend.

“I think he was probably trying to get a reaction out of some of the players, so I’ll continue to work hard to get back in the team and hopefully start playing well again.”

Russell reckons Ton can beat basement boys Ayr on Saturday to guarantee the play-offs, but they’ll need to get back to playing with the style that has taken them to heady heights this campaign. And he believes the players will be up for the challenge.

He said: “There might be a bit of an extra edge this weekend with the play-off hopes. And we haven’t won in a few games so we want to get back to scoring goals and playing as well as we’ve played all season.

“It’s just a matter of being all in it together, ourselves and the fans, and hopefully we can secure the play-offs.”