MORTON boss Jim Duffy has heaped praise on new boy Connor McManus for putting the team first and throwing himself into a defensive role.

McManus has been dropped in the deep end since joining Ton, as several key defenders have been out injured. 

The ex-Celtic midfielder has had to play in an unnatural central-defensive position in the absence of Thomas O’Ware, Lee Kilday, Ricki Lamie and Darren Barr.

But Duffy credited his makeshift defender for having the right state of mind to adjust to his new, albeit temporary role, and insists his willingness to make the necessary shift makes him a valuable member of the Ton squad.

He told the Tele: “I think Connor has done admirably. 

“For a boy to be pitched in, which was a bit unfair on him, in an unfamiliar role, I thought he did pretty well. There’s been one or two positional errors, but generally speaking he has stood up well. Being a natural midfielder, his use of the ball is good. 

“But the main thing that I was most pleased with is that he understood he was going to have to do a job for his team. That tells you a lot about the boy’s character.

“He wasn’t concerned about himself, he knew that short-term he’d have to do that until the other guys are back, but then he’s going to compete for a midfield role.

“It’s always pleasing when a player is prepared to put the team ahead of himself. 

“We’ve had that with a lot of the players we’ve signed over the years, they’ve always been prepared to do a job for the team and perhaps sacrifice their own preference.

“We’re going to need players like that over the course of the season because we can’t carry a huge squad. Players who aren’t only adaptable but those who are willing to adapt. That’s important.”