Moore wields his axe

Published: 9 May 2012 11:155 comments

THE Morton squad was ripped to shreds as eight players were shown the door yesterday.

Manager Allan Moore called in his stunned players and told them who would stay and who would go, as Ton aim to improve next season.

  • Leaving are keepers Colin Stewart and Matt McGinlay, defenders Grant Evans, Ross Forsyth and Marc Smyth, midfielders Darren McGeouch and Iain Flannigan and striker Andy Jackson.
  • OFFERED new deals are defenders Andy Graham and Thomas O'Ware, midfielder Derek Young and strikers Peter MacDonald, Archie Campbell and Peter Weatherson - who is set to enter his testimonial year.
  • And Moore SIGNED Hamilton defender Mark McLaughlin and extended winger David O'Brien's contract for a further year after he turned down the advances of First Division rivals Livingston.

  • Under-19 players Creag Little, Joel Kasubandi have both been released - while Lewis Hawke and Martin Macguire have both been offered no-pay deals with the reserves.

    Captain Stuart McCaffrey had already intimated his decision to retire due to a foot injury that had sidelined him since September, while Paul Di Giacomo and Fouad Bachirou both revealed in the Tele that they would not seek new contracts.

    Moore was keen to thank those players for their efforts on their way out the Cappielow exit door, but he was thrilled to see two players sign contracts for next season.

    Moore told the Tele: "David O'Brien has signed a new contract. I know people were saying he was going to Livingston and they made him an offer, but David came in and signed with us.

    "He knows what he is going to get from myself and Mark McNally, and Mark McLaughlin has also signed on for next season which is great news as far as we are concerned.

    "He is a leader, he is a Port Glasgow boy and he banged in eight goals for Hamilton this year. With Stuart McCaffrey leaving, big Mark is a great signing.

    "Wee Archie Campbell and Peter MacDonald have been offered deals, along with Andy Graham, Derek Young and Peter Weatherson.

    "I've also got to thank all the players that gave us their effort this year - myself and Mark are both disappointed that it didn't work out with all of them, as we did believe they would do a great job for us.

    "For one reason or another we didn't do as well as we'd hoped, but I'm not going to sit here and slaughter the players. There were many circumstances such as injuries that hurt us this season.

    "But the grim reality is that we finished eighth. Myself and Mark are not blameless in that, but we had to make drastic decisions and freshen things up a bit."

    McLaughlin and O'Brien join midfielder Michael Tidser and veteran goalkeeper Alan Combe, with both players already signed up for the coming campaign.

    But Moore concedes he must be patient as he waits to hear if his squad will be bolstered further - with Graham and Young both needing time to mull over their offers.

    He added: "With Andy and Derek it is complicated. We're negotiating with them but there are outside circumstances which they are having to consider, and we understand that.

    "Big Andy has been offered a full-time job outside of football which is interesting him at the moment, while Derek still has a house in Aberdeen and the travelling is a factor.

    "Those two are still ongoing, they are not dead in the water. We hope they agree to sign but we will wait and see."

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    • UnkilGed
      179 posts
      May 9, 13:03
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      My estimation of Mr Moore has gone up since yesterday with the news that all the "dead wood" has been cast adrift from the S.S. Cappielow.

      The next question is will he have the time to manufacture a team before the start of the season in August? Ultimately it is Mr Moore who has the responsibility of steering the course of the Ton and if players think they are in for an easy ticket at Cappielow then the clear out should remind them they are wrong in their assumptions.

      Let us hope that the spring cleaning shall be the first step in bringing the sadly missed winning ways to the fans on the terraces.

      I also hope that the players brought in are not what are left in the shop window after the sales are finished, but players who will do the business and wear the Morton shirt with pride as if their life depended on it. The fans patience at Cappielow deserve it.

      COME ON THE TON.

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    • ukch47
      12 posts
      May 10, 03:10
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      Alan Moore should go as far as I am concerned. Man management skills and tactical awareness are not something he has in his tool kit. :( Come on the Ton

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    • UnkilGed
      179 posts
      May 10, 12:12
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      After taking Stirling from second bottom of the third division to the first division in 5 years I reckon Mr Moore has something in his tool kit to be able to do that. Whether he has the magic formula to be able to take Morton into the top division is up for debate.

      After the clearout of the team it shows that he means business and will not take mediocrity lying down that is for sure.

      The question will be this coming season, if he can steer the Ton out of the mire that they have sunk into and develop a side that other sides fear when they visit Cappielow.

      With only 1 year left in his contract he is facing a mammoth task to construct a settled team but if he has the cahunas to even attempt it after the necessary spring cleaning I will give him the benefit of the doubt, for now.

      COME ON THE TON.

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    • ukch47
      12 posts
      May 10, 15:48
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      How many years has he managed Morton ? I think he may have left his tool kit at previous club :( The players who under performed have been released and rightly so and in my opinion the management team should follow.

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    • UnkilGed
      179 posts
      May 10, 16:51
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      Since May 10th 2010 he has been the manager at Morton and granted his formations on the park at times have been baffling to say the least.

      Last season was his first year in charge so I can't get the knives out for that and this season the team have been beset with injuries and a lot of juggling had to be done.

      As you rightly say the dead wood has been jetisoned and if there isn't a marked improvement before Christmas this year, then I also feel that a new Manager will be on the Chairman's shopping list for the new year.

      In the meantime he has my support if he can supply a team and the winning ways to Cappielow once again that the supporters rightly deserve.

      COME ON THE TON.

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