MORTON’S new assistant manager Anton McElhone wants to put his experience working with international stars to good use at Cappielow as he plots their return to the Premiership.

The 38-year-old was appointed as David Hopkin’s number two yesterday, with the pair both on three-year deals.

McElhone has previously worked at Queen’s Park and Hibs then moved south to Tottenham Hotspur for 10 years before joining MLS outfit New England Revolution.
The assistant, who also worked under Hopkin at Bradford City, helped develop huge talents such as Harry Kane, Steven Caulker and Ryan Mason.

McElhone hopes his experience with illustrious names on his CV will stand him in good stead as he tries to build his reputation as a coach.

The Ton number two has aspirations of taking the club forward, and sees Cappielow as a great opportunity to play attractive football.

He told the Tele: “I’ve already worked with David so we know what we’re looking for, what we want to do and all the Morton fans will get from us is hard work in trying to get the team back to where it should be. 

“Everyone wants it to be at a higher level, the stadium is great, we’ve got the right people at the club and hopefully players want to play good football under the gaffer.

“It’s about trying to get players to buy into what you’re doing. I’ve worked with players at Tottenham for 10 years, the Harry Kanes, a plethora of England internationals, I understand what it takes to develop players.

“I was working individually with these players, I was doing sessions, doing drills, games and I have the experience to rely upon and convince players.”
McElhone first started out down the coaching route, but changed career path to be a fitness and reconditioning coach at Spurs as he targeted a position at a higher level. 

“The assistant, who holds a UEFA A Licence coaching badge, says his desire was always to return to coaching, but the switch to a specialised role helped him progress his career, especially with no professional playing background behind him.

He added: “To get further in the game as a coach I decided to go down the fitness route because it would take us to a higher level working at a senior level, having not played the game at a professional level.

“It was difficult to go down that route, but Jose Mourinho changed the pathway for that. 

“I had always wanted to go back into coaching, working at Tottenham and New England.

“At New England I was on the coaching staff as the head of fitness but also the unofficial assistant coach.

“At Tottenham it was very football specific, taking individuals, groups or the team in a variety of things, and I was very lucky that the person working under Mauricio [Pochettino], Jesus Perez, his assistant, is a modern day coach.

“He came through a fitness background like myself. 

“He looks after the general sides of the football department whereas the manager is the tactician and the brains. 

“With David he’s the brains and the experienced coach, and I’m there to assist and help in any way, whether it’s analysis, fitness or general coaching.”