DAVID Hopkin says he is confident his players have adapted to playing behind closed doors after training in an empty Cappielow in the build-up to tonight's Betfred Cup opener against Queen of the South.

With no sign of supporters being allowed to return to football grounds any time soon, Hopkin has made sure they are used to playing without the backing of the Cappielow faithful.

Morton kick off the campaign with three home games against Queens tonight, Queen's Park next week and Alloa in the Championship opener.

Despite being without Ton fans, Hopkin believes his side can make the most of home advantage and get the campaign off to a flying start.

He told the Tele: “I’m delighted that we’re so close to coming back, it’s been a long pre-season but we’re back to competition time.

“It is going to be strange without the fans but we’ve been doing plenty of work at Cappielow over the last 10 days or so, so that the players can get that bit of affection back for the club and the feel of the stadium with nobody in.

“We’re really looking forward to it, as I’m sure that Allan Johnston at Queen of the South and every other club in Scotland will be.

“If anybody has watched any of the Premier League games, the first one or two weren’t great because players are finding their legs and getting back used to playing football again in an empty stadium.

“It was tough for Premier League clubs to adapt to that, and it will be for us as well.

“It’s about adapting to that mentally, knowing that it’s a competitive game and we’ve got a competitive squad here who have done extremely well over the course of pre-season.

“We need to make sure that we don’t use these games as friendlies as such, but we need to make sure that we get minutes into the players' legs to ensure that they’re ready for the league kicking off against Alloa."

He added: “We’re all absolutely buzzing to be back.

“We’ve got a great start having our first three games back at home.

“If we can get off to a good start then that would be fantastic.

“It’s the first game back, there might be teething issues, but we just need to stay positive because at the end of the day football is back.

“Hopefully we can get the three points at the end of it, which will get us off to a good start ahead of what will be a very difficult campaign.”

Hopkin has been busy strengthening his squad for the new season, adding eight players in total, while keeping the nucleus of last season's side.

The Ton boss is delighted his new recruits have settled in well at the club.

He said: “Every player that’s come in has fitted into the group as if they’ve been here for years.

“That’s the good thing about keeping players on, you keep that continuity in the camp and I’ve got to take my hat off to the boys who have stayed on because the majority of them have gone away and worked hard during the lockdown and have come back in fantastic shape.

“They’ve got the bit right between their teeth because in that six to seven month break, they’ve realised that they want to be footballers for as long as possible.

“We’ve got a great group of players here, I love coming to my work everyday to come and coach and work with them.

“I think the lockdown given people that moment to realise why they’re involved in football - they do it for the love of the game.

“They do it to make players better and they do that because they enjoy it.

“We all work very hard to be involved in football, to try and give players the opportunities that I had when I was a kid.

“If we can give them that platform to go and learn then we’d all be delighted.”