MORTON will have to offload players before they can strengthen in the January transfer window.

Ton boss David Hopkin and chief executive David MacKinnon have been looking at potential targets for the window opening in the new year. 

However, MacKinnon says they need to move players on before they add to the squad as Ton look to move up the table in the second half of the campaign.

MacKinnon believes the club are building for a bright future by securing Lewis Strapp and Reece Lyon on long-term deals following their breakthrough into the first team and he insists it is crucial for the club to protect their top prospects. 

He told the Tele: “For January we’ve been working hard over the last few months to bring people in who we think will complement and improve the squad. 

“But with the position we’re in we’ll need to offload players before we can bring anyone in to help complete that nucleus of the squad.

“Year one is a transitional period, it was always going to be. We’ve had some ups and downs which was expected and anticipated and like at Dundee where there was Dee for Life, who brought into the club and supported them after the administration, there’s Morton Club Together here.

“We’re building a nucleus of a squad here, which we can take forward into year two and three to see where that can take us.

“We’ve started to build that nucleus which will be added to in January and windows beyond that and for the first time in Morton’s history we’re starting to protect the club’s assets like Reece Lyon and Lewis Strapp by tying them on long-term deals as clubs are already looking at them.”

MacKinnon says he’s honoured to be part of the club and has been working tirelessly to bring a community spirit back to Cappielow.

The chief executive hailed gaffer Hopkin for the quality of work he provides for the players behind the scenes with such limited resources.

He added: “It’s been challenging, but we’re all still on board with the plan and it’s an honour to be a part of it all.

“It’s been made well known that the club couldn’t continue to make the sort of losses that it has over the last few years.

“The aim was to really try and run a budget that would break even so the club can be self-sufficient.

“That of course meant that the playing budget had to be cut significantly, which was outlined to me at the start.

“I had experiences in these kinds of situations at Kilmarnock and Dundee as chief executive.

“We sorted out the outline and quickly had to get a manager in place who understood what those challenges of working with a reduced budget would be.

“Not many managers would do that and continue to produce high quality work under those constraints which is why we’re so lucky to have Hoppy here.

“He’s the best in the league at what he does and he’s starting to get a team on the park who are playing for the jersey.”