STRIKER Gary Oliver hopes to rekindle some of the memories of his first spell at Cappielow by helping Morton challenge for a play-off spot this season.

The 25-year-old returned for his second spell in Greenock after a year at Queen of the South and he is determined to repay Ton boss David Hopkin for the faith shown in him to bring him back to Cappielow.

Oliver was part of Jim Duffy's side to reach the play-off semi-final against Dundee United in 2017 and the striker believes they should aim for a top four finish this term.

He told the Tele: “I’m really looking forward to that first game back at Cappielow now that I’ve had a few weeks back in training.

“It’s going to feel like I’m coming back home to see my Mum and Dad after moving out – it’s got a nice feel to it and I hope that we can have the fans there for it.

“It’s a new challenge for me and I want to prove to the people in and around the club that I’m a good player and that I’ve improved since I’ve been away.

“If I can do that then hopefully it brings back some good memories from the first time around.

“Hopefully we can get back into the play-offs and be able to go far in the cups because that’s what a club like Morton should be doing.

“That’s probably what made my spell at the club so enjoyable - it was probably one of the best periods of my career.

“If we can do anything like that then hopefully the fans will be happy with me and obviously the rest of the boys as well.

“Morton have been good to me throughout my career and the people at the club are good people.

“The manager has been different class with me so far, he’s given me a chance to prove that I’m a better player than the first time around and that ultimately we are a good team.”

Oliver is under no illusions as to how tough a task he and his team-mates face when they start their Betfred Cup campaign.

The Ton face off against five difficult opponents in the shape of rivals St Mirren, Queen of the South, Partick Thistle and Ray McKinnon’s Queen’s Park.

He said: “It’s probably one of the toughest groups that I’ve seen in the competition.

“There are five full-time teams in there with players of at least Championship quality in abundance, so there’s going to be no easy games in there.

“We’ll need to be up to speed really quickly and hit the ground running to be in with a chance of qualifying.

“We’ve worked hard already, we’ve done a lot of game-related running and we’re all looking very fit.

“I’m probably the fittest that I’ve ever felt during a pre-season so I’m feeling good about myself already and feeling good about the return to competitive action.

“It’s just like the gaffer has been saying, we put the hard work in now and right from the off and it’ll pay off as the season goes on."