MICHAEL Doyle has revealed how some tough talking from Morton boss Jim Duffy has sparked a rich vein of form for the Cappielow side.

The right-back, 26, told how Duffy was compelled to give the first-team squad a wake-up call following last month’s 1-0 defeat at home to Falkirk.

That defeat left the Cappielow outfit languishing down in seventh spot in the table with their promotion play-off chances in serious jeopardy.

But since then Ton haven’t looked back, recording three wins on the bounce — away to Dunfermline in the Scottish Cup, a 3-0 league win over Dundee United at Tannadice, followed by Saturday’s last-gasp 2-1 league victory over the Pars.

Now they sit in fourth spot, they are back into play-off contention and have a William Hill Scottish Cup fifth round game against Dumbarton to look forward to this weekend.

And Doyle is convinced that Duffy’s words of wisdom played a part in the Ton revival.

He told Tele Sport: “After the defeat to Falkirk the manager had a word with us.

“And, after that, we realised that if we didn’t buck up our ideas we were going to get dragged down from not only trying to get a play-off position, but going down there and fighting against teams in the bottom end of the table.

“That’s a place we didn’t want to be. We didn’t want to get dragged into that.

“So when the manager spoke to us after the Falkirk game, it was a wake-up call and it was about not letting a play-off position slip through our fingers.

“And, at the time, we knew there was something missing. We just needed something to click.

“I can’t put my finger on what exactly it’s been since then but we all just started working really harder in training, so it was definitely a wake-up call [from the manager].”

Doyle reckons increased competition for places in the match-day squad has helped everyone to raise their game.

He explained: “Since the Falkirk defeat and the chat with the manager, players have started to settle.

“And we’ve had a settled back four who’ve played the last three games together. 

“Along with that, the two strikers [Gary Oliver and Scott Tiffoney] are keeping Bob McHugh out the team and the defenders have been keeping Ricki Lamie out the team, who’s arguably been our best player this season.

“And if we’re able to keep players of that calibre out the team, then we’re doing well.

“Everyone is fighting for positions and we have a few boys coming back from injury too.

“There’s also other players to come back such as Ross Forbes, Robert Thomson and Jai Quitongo and I think that’s helped, because you start to play better when you know there’s a bit of competition.

“Now it’s a case of having to keep your place in the team by fighting for it.

“And the competition for places is keeping everyone on their toes.”