DAVID Hopkin has asked Morton fans to be patient with his young squad after they crashed out of the Challenge Cup to Inverness.

Hopkin made nine changes to the side that Caley ran riot against last Friday, with only Brian McLean and Luca Colville retaining their places as Kalvin Orsi, Jack Baird and Adam Livingstone all made their first starts.

The Morton boss admits it was a difficult afternoon for his side and has called for patience, as their focus returns to league business following Saturday’s cup defeat.

He told the Tele: “It’s going to be tough, but I think that the fans now need to realise what we’ve got here – a young squad of players. We’ve seen in the last couple of weeks that it’s going to be tough now that we’re starting to play some of the bigger teams in the league.

“We’ll dissect the result. I’ve had a chat with the players, and they know that the result wasn’t good enough and that they need to do better. But we take it on the chin, it’s the cup.

“We need to concentrate on the league.”

Hopkin was disappointed in the way that his team found themselves 3-0 down with just over half an hour to play, as all of the hard work done in training during the week was undone as players switched off.

He said: “The first goal we’ve worked on all week – don’t show them on the inside and then we let them go on the inside. I’ve not seen the goal back but I think Sam [Ramsbottom] has to do better with it.

“For the second goal, we’ve said to the players to match the runs. We’ve told Cammy [Salkeld] to do that and when he doesn’t Aaron Doran gets in behind to score.

“We’ve worked on that all week and that’s the most frustrating thing.

“The same again for the third goal, we broke away too early and the ball was intercepted, then it’s the long diagonal and the boy is in at the back post and scored.

“I’ve got to give them credit for coming back after John Sutton came on, but we now know how tough it’s going to be at times.

“It’s our concentration levels when we don’t have the ball that seems to be our undoing at the moment.”

Hopkin praised shotstopper Sam Ramsbottom for his penalty save.

He added: “It’s a great save from Sam, from a really well-hit penalty.

“He’s had a couple of good saves in the build-up and the aftermath to that.

“Even when we get to 3-1 we’ve had chances through Luca [Colville] and Robbie [Muirhead] but I think tiredness grew in.

“Robbie hasn’t played a lot of football and on another day it could’ve maybe have made a bit more of a game of it.

“It’s done now, it’s a cup that’s not going to change anything. It was a good workout for them and to get 90 minutes under their belts.”