JIM Duffy insists Saturday’s 3-0 win over Stenhousemuir was a pleasing result and performance from his troops as they continue to try and explore new formations and tactical options.

Ton ran out comprehensive victors at Ochilview Park and Duffy was particularly happy with his players for their use of the ball when they were in possession.

He believes pre-season friendlies — against competitive opposition – is the ideal opportunity to try new things and make tactical adjustments ahead of the new season.

He said: “These games are all about getting that sharpness and getting to know each other again. 

“There are some new players in and some young players, and it’s about everyone getting a feel of the game again.

“It’s a bit more competitive than having the closed-door games. It was a wee bit breezy and awkward in the first half before Bob scored a terrific goal, but in the second half I felt we were a bit better and moved the ball a bit quicker.

“It was good because Stenny made us step it up and that’s what you want.

“You want a team that makes you work, their attitude was terrific and that’s what you are after.

“We didn’t want a stroll and it certainly wasn’t, so that was good to get some game time for the boys.

“We’re trying a couple of different ways to play, like in the closed-door games, just different options. We’ve got a few more options in the middle and at the top end of the pitch so that’s something that we’ll look at. Last year we played a certain system, one that has worked pretty well for us.

“But like everything else if you stand still then the opposition get to know you and nullify that. It’s not to say we won’t play a similar way this season, but I think we’ve got different ways of playing now. 

“On the ball we were good but without the ball we were a wee bit open at times and that’s something we’ve got to just try and get the balance right with.”

New signings Bob McHugh and Robert Thomson both got on the scoresheet, as well as youngster Ben Armour. And the manager was pleased for his new strike force that they managed to find the net on their first team debuts.

He said: “If you’re a new player coming into the club it’s always good to score goals. We brought them here to give us more of a threat at the top end of the pitch, and whether it’s a friendly or not, it’s good for these guys.

“They’re natural front men who want to get on the scoresheet so for them to score is always important.  Ben is a young player who is strong and I liked his goal because it was instinctive and a reaction to something that came off the woodwork.

“Games like today gives those young players an opportunity at this stage in the season to see if they can be a part of the squad when the season officially starts.”

One black mark against Saturday’s bounce game was the injury sustained by left-back Lewis Strapp, who was taken to hospital with concussion following a collision after half an hour.

And Duffy said: “We’ll see how Lewis is later on, hopefully he’s okay. 

“He’s taken a bump, the boy has landed on him and it was like a whiplash effect where he’s jarred his head and neck so he was a bit disorientated.” 

Meanwhile, Stenhousemuir boss Brown Ferguson was pleased with his side’s defensive display on Saturday despite conceding three goals to Morton.

The Stenny manager has brought in a number of new faces at the League Two outfit and he was content with how his players fared against higher opposition. 

He insists the whole squad can be satisfied with their day’s work.

He said: “I thought we looked relatively strong defensively in the first half against a team who are ahead of us in their pre-season, so there was a lot of positives.

“We’re back 10 days now and Morton have had two pre-season games already. 

“It was literally just about getting our new players up to game speed and bedding in some of the defensive principles that we’ve been working on.

“Obviously we’ve conceded three goals, a couple of them were avoidable, but I thought our shape was reasonably solid and we looked reasonably secure.”