DAVID HOPKIN says he wants to build his Morton team around Nicky Cadden as he looks to tie down all of his young players for next season.

Cadden only signed a one-year deal last summer and his form has been attracting other clubs.

Cappielow boss Hopkin – who has been named Ladbrokes Championship manager of the month – hopes he can convince the 23-year-old to stay on as he launches an intensive re-signing campaign.

Hopkin said: “Nicky is obviously one of the players we want to keep.

“I worked with him before at Livingston and when I asked him to come here last summer he was delighted to do so.

“He’s scored ten goals and had about 20 assists so he’s a massive part of what we’re trying to do at the football club.

“Hopefully we can get him tied up. He’s at an age now, 23, that more clubs will be looking at him. But I want him to stay. I want to build my team around him. We had nine players under 23 either playing or on the bench on Tuesday night at Inverness.

“These guys are the priority so we want to get them tied down for the long-term future of the club.

“Every one of them will be offered a deal and we hope to get the business done in the next week to ten days.

“So it might mean that, for financial reasons, some of the more experienced players might move on. I also expect some suitors for four or five of my players so we will see what happens but I want to get my business done early.”

Hopkin’s men were unbeaten in the league this year until Tuesday’s heart-breaking 3-2 defeat in the Highlands when they lost a goal in the final 30 seconds.

It’s hauled them clear of the danger area but the Morton manager knows they need to maintain their form to solidify their Championship status, starting with a home clash against Arbroath tomorrow.

He said: “Tuesday night was a hard one to take, losing the goal so late in the game. So it was a tough trip back down the road.

“But we’ve had a fantastic 2020 so far and it’s all been down to hard work from everyone.”

“We were down at the bottom and now we’ve climbed up to the point where we are close to the points total of 40 or 42 that we want.

“We always felt we would come good and the players are enjoying their football.

“The next nine games will be tough but we have a good bond in the squad. Even those that aren’t involved are supporting those who are.

“Arbroath will have the same thoughts as us. Dick Campbell’s done fantastically well to take his team through the leagues and thrive in the Championship. I don’t think he gets the credit he deserves.”