MORTON boss Jim Duffy has scooped the Ladbrokes Championship Manager of the Year award — and defender Ricki Lamie insists the 58-year-old was the perfect choice after such an impressive season.

Duffy’s men finished fourth in the table, qualifying for the Premiership promotion play-offs before falling at the quarter-final hurdle against Dundee United over two legs.

Lamie believes the fact that Ton were written off at the beginning of the campaign by doubters who predicted a relegation dogfight for the Greenock men only reinforces Duffy’s credentials and success this season.

Lamie told the Tele: “The gaffer deserves it 100 per cent. 

“I’d say we were probably the only team to make the play-offs who were maybe not deemed one of the favourites at the start of the season.

“Other teams have done well and been consistent in patches but I think we showed some real consistency throughout the season. The cup runs as well can’t be forgotten at the start of the season and then the League Cup run as well, so he thoroughly deserves it.”

The 23-year-old can’t quite put his finger on what it is about Duffy’s skills as a motivator that makes him so good at what he does, but he recognises the work ethic and ambition his boss has in spades.

Lamie claims those qualities — coupled with his brutal yet refreshing honesty - spreads through the whole Morton squad and makes Duffy the ideal winner of Manager of the Year in the Ladbrokes Championship.

He said: “I think anyone who knew the secret ingredient of success, there would be a lot more people doing it, but the gaffer is always hard working and he’s very honest which I think is one of his best traits.

“Those two combined breeds through the team and as you’ve seen throughout this season and seasons past, the ethos of the team has been hard work and determination first of all. 

“Then allied with that there’s some flair and skill that comes second.

“I think every team, no matter what level you’re playing at, you need that effort. 

“That’s what the gaffer starts with, it breeds through everyone in the team and he’s honest.

“As a player, honesty is the first thing you want from your gaffer and that goes a long way. It sounds simple but it works wonders.”

Craig McPherson didn’t go without notice either, and Lamie believes the partnership the Ton assistant and Duffy have at Cappielow is working wonders for the club.
He praised the pair’s tactical intelligence for helping the team finish as high in the table as they did this season.

He added: “It’s a very good, perfect, partnership between the gaffer and Hagi [McPherson]. 

“They know each other well and they work well together. 

“That togetherness and everything fits in place. They’re very tactically aware as well and have the technical side of the game down as well, not just the hard work.

“That goes unseen sometimes but the gaffer is very shrewd with his team decisions, he likes to change it up and we’ve been in a lot of big games since I’ve been at the club where we’ve done very well in the vast majority against the big teams. 

“We’ve done ourselves proud and that’s down to the tactics and decisions that are made by the gaffer to give us a chance.”