JONATAN Johansson has praised Jim McAlister’s performance as a makeshift centre-back in recent weeks.

The club captain has filled in as a defender in the Ton’s last three games due to centre-back Kerr Waddell being injured.

The midfielder covered in the same role earlier in the season for the Cappielow outfit, when Waddell was sent off against Inverness Caley Thistle back in December.

While he’s more familiar with the right-back role, McAlister has proven a useful temporary stopgap for the centre-back position in recent fixtures.

He produced a man of the match display against Queen of the South on Saturday, clearing an effort off the line while making several other important challenges late on.

Ton manager Johansson praised his captain’s versatility.

He told the Tele: “He’s a great character. He’s one of those players that never wants to lose and you can see that. He puts his body on the line all the time.

“We have Kerr out injured and he’s been filling in at centre-back and he’s been doing well.

“That’s what you need from players at this stage of the season.”

The manager also looked forward to tonight’s game against Alloa, saying it would be a tough test on his injury-hit squad.

He added: “It makes it a massive game.

“You look at every game and you don’t know how it’s going to go or how it will pan out.

“It’s about battling for points, seeing where we are at fitness-wise and thankfully all the teams play the same amount of games in this busy period because the squad is getting stretched at the minute.”