MORTON boss Jim Duffy believes a new deal is the least young striker Ben Armour deserves for his efforts this season.

Duffy challenged the 19-year-old to improve his game and his fitness over the summer and the manager reckons the player has already shown in a few cameos this term that he is sharper and stronger.

The Morton gaffer had no hesitation in rewarding Armour with a contract extension until the end of the season. 

The 58-year-old believes Armour can take confidence from his new contract, which he signed on Thursday, and use it as a ‘springboard’ to make more first-team appearances from now until the end of the campaign.

He told the Tele: “Ben is a promising young player who came to us a little bit later than some of the other young guys here. 

“In the summer we gave him a short-term contract and we asked him to go away and work on his fitness and upper body.

“We wanted him to come back and try and make a contribution towards the first team. And I think he has done that, in fact he has definitely done that. 

“He’s come back in very good shape, really fit, really determined with a real desire to try and 

“He has done it and he’s now an established member of the first-team squad and the next stage for him is to try and get some more regular first-team appearances. 

“That’s the next challenge but I think giving him the contract extension should tell him that we appreciate the work he’s done up until now.

“We believe he has a future at the club and can make an impact over the course of the season.”

Duffy wants to make sure Armour is ready to grab his opportunity to make an impact — just like fellow youngster Scott Tiffoney did against St Mirren in last Saturday’s Renfrewshire derby.

He added: “Ben has definitely improved and made significant progress and all you really want of the young players is to keep working hard and when the opportunity comes try and grab it as best you can.

“Nothing in football is guaranteed but when the opportunity does come around you’ve got to be ready to take it, like Scott Tiffoney did on Saturday. Ben has worked hard and that’s good enough to earn the extension.

“Hopefully he can use that as a springboard to make more of an impact in the first team.”