MORTON boss David Hopkin has told his fringe players they will need to step up to the plate as they prepare for a hectic schedule.

Ton are gearing up for a busy week starting at Stark's Park tomorrow when they take on in-form Raith Rovers in the Championship.

They then complete their Betfred Cup group with a mouth-watering Renfrewshire derby against St Mirren in Paisley in midweek before taking on Partick Thistle at Firhill.

Hopkin admitted that he will look to use his full arsenal and says his whole squad will have a to be on top of their .

He told the Tele: “I’ve been delighted with the intensity that we’ve played at so far this season.

“I think we’ve got a really good group of players here who work hard every day in training.

“I’m delighted with every player and how they’ve played, they know how tough it's going to be to get into the starting XI and even onto the bench now.

“It’s good that we haven’t let our heads drop and why would we?

"The performances have been that good since we’ve come back and it’s been pleasing to see.

“We’ve got a group of 22 players who we’re trying to keep as fit as we can.

“We have to make sure that when we’ve got players who are coming into the team, that they’re ready to play at that standard.

“I’ve been delighted with the commitment of the players and the way that they go about their work.

“The games have been good and have been competitive.

“I’ve been watching games in the Championship and they have been being played at a good tempo and we need to make sure that we’re starting games on the front foot like we did against Alloa.

“It’s just been one lapse of concentration that’s cost us so far and we’ll look to shut that out of our game going forward.

“There are still positions up for grabs, but we’ve just got to make sure that we can go and pick up some points tomorrow now.

“We’ve kept most of the faces from last season, albeit we’ve lost a couple of big names from last season who contributed to a lot of our goals and assists.

"But we’re at the stage where we’ve had to bring younger players in and we have to coach them.

“It’s going to take maybe six or seven months to bring them up to our level.

“As a club and as a team we’re in a good place and I think that you can see that in the atmosphere in and around Cappielow.”

Hopkin hailed the mentality of his side after their heroic display against Ayr United last week.

He believes that all the hard work carried out by himself and the coaching staff over the last 18 months is beginning to show after the grit and determination of last week’s performance paid off.

He continued:

“Even when we went two goals down last week, I thought we still only needed once chance in which we needed to be patient to get.

“We scored three fantastic goals to get us a great three points to cap off a great performance in which we showed our great work rate that we’re installing into the players here.

“The character that we have here at the club, especially with such a young squad is there for everyone to see.

“You can see what we’re trying to build here and you need characters in your dressing room who will help lift the team as well as young boys who want to come and learn.

“Hopefully that will continue to show throughout the season.”