DAVID Hopkin says he has been impressed with trialists Brian McLean and Ryan McGeever as he mulls moves for the central defenders.

The Morton boss praised the pair after their showings against St Johnstone in Tuesday’s friendly at Cappielow.
Ton lost the game 3-2 but the manager was pleased with the two contract hopefuls — and the display of new signing Peter Grant.

During a testing game against a Premiership side Grant showed fans glimpses of what he can bring in a Ton shirt playing in a back three alongside ex-Dumbarton and Motherwell man McLean and former Queen’s Park and Brechin stopper McGeever.

Hopkin told the Tele: “Peter is solid and he can defend really well and he’s what I’m looking for.

“St Johnstone were very good in the first half and they caused us problems so for Peter and Brian to come in without training with anyone and perform so well, I thought they were fantastic.

“Ryan McGeever looked a better player alongside the two experienced defenders and that’s no disrespect towards anyone else we’ve had in, but we looked a better team with those three in it.

“You could see Brian McLean’s experience — he’s 34 now but he was fantastic.

“I thought he was very solid and his talking and movement in the middle of the defence was really good.

“We’re always looking and working on things, but I thought the two of them played really well against Premier League strikers.”

Hopkin believes new signing Grant will be a key man for the club this season after a frustrating year down south with Plymouth Argyle and Carlisle United.

The Ton boss said: “I’ve always liked Peter even when he was at Falkirk. He’s a fantastic defender and a good kid around the dressing room and he knows what he wants to do.

“He came in after a short period of time and put in a solid performance and to get 85 minutes out of him was fantastic for him.

“Overall I was delighted with him.”

Ton found themselves 3-0 down in the Saints friendly at one stage before pulling two goals back during the second half through Aidan Nesbitt and John Sutton.

Hopkin said: “The movement was great from St Johnstone in the first half and they caused us plenty of problems.

“In the second half we got into the game more and our front and wide players started to press higher and make things a bit easier for the defence.

“It’s something that we’ll look at and we will sit down on Thursday and have a chat with them, then we’ll regroup for a very tough opening game against Dumbarton next week.”

Meanwhile, the Tele understands that Dutch defender Dave Nieskens won’t be a part of Hopkin’s plans for this season after being on trial at the club. 

Nieskens, who featured against Forfar, came on as a sub for new signing Peter Grant for the final few minutes against St Johnstone.