MORTON’S club captain Jim McAlister admits his side are in a ‘relegation dogfight’ – and says they need to vastly improve against Ayr United tonight.

Ton’s slim hopes of reaching the promotion play-offs have vanished in recent weeks and they are now facing a scrap for Championship survival.

With three teams below them in the table pulling off surprise victories at the weekend, it leaves Morton hovering precariously above the relegation spots.

McAlister says the team’s inconsistent form has left them looking over their shoulder.

He added: “In this league you need to be hard to beat, but instead we’ve been up and down far too much.
“We’ve only got ourselves to blame for the situation we find ourselves in.

With seven games to go Jonatan Johansson’s side are just five points above bottom side Alloa Athletic and three points ahead of Falkirk in ninth.

The Cappielow outfit do have a game in hand over a number of the teams at the bottom of the Championship, tonight’s fixture against Ayr.

The Honest Men got an extra day’s break after they defeated in-form Dunfermline 1-0 on Friday.

It ended a run of three straight defeats for the Somerset Park outfit, putting them back in the promotion play-offs picture.

McAlister says his side must secure safety while their fate is still in their own hands - starting tonight against the Honest Men.

After their 3-0 loss to the Jags at the weekend, the skipper said players need to ‘take a look at themselves’ after the manner of the heavy defeat.

He told the Tele: “We’re in a relegation dogfight now and we need to start grinding out results.

“We came off the pitch on Saturday and it was probably the worst possible set of results we could have been met with.

“One thing you have to be in this league is hard to beat.

“We’ve peaked and dipped a lot, it’s been the story of our season and it’s why we are where we are in the league.

“We can’t rely on other teams now, we need to take care of it ourselves, and that needs to starts tonight when we take on Ayr United.

“We have to fight our way out of this position. This is when you find out all about players in terms of their mentality.

“There needs to be personal pride, first and foremost.

“Undoubtedly the manager will make changes on Tuesday, bring in some fresh legs and look for a reaction. 

“The players playing tonight need to look at themselves and their own games.”

McAlister, 33, who has been relegated at several of his former clubs, added: “It is damaging to the club and to your career on a personal level. The players need to realise the consequences if Morton were to drop down to League One.

“I’ve been relegated before and it’s not nice.

“Some of the younger boys may not have experienced that before but I can tell you now you don’t want that on your CV going forward.

“We need a positive reaction from everyone tonight."