DAVID Hopkin says he couldn’t ask for any more of his players after Morton lost on penalties to Renfrewshire rivals St Mirren last night.

Sub Ross MacIver cancelled out Jon Obika’s first-half strike before Josh McPake missed the crucial spot-kick in the shootout.

The Ton boss praised his players for bouncing back from Saturday’s 5-0 rout to Raith Rovers as they remain in with a chance of securing a place in the next round of the Betfred Cup.

Hopkin praised the work ethic of Cameron Salkeld, who was tasked with playing as a lone striker up front against experienced Premiership defender Joe Shaughnessy.

He told the Tele: “I’m delighted with the way that we’ve played tonight despite losing out on penalties.

“We knew that we were coming to St Mirren and would be in for a tough game, so we set the team up to go with five defenders and four midfielders in front of them.

“I thought having Cameron Salkeld playing as a lone striker would give St Mirren a headache as he would run and give them problems.

“We worked our socks off in the first half and then we find ourselves one goal down thanks to a lapse in concentration from a set play.

“I asked the players for more in the second half and that’s what we got.

“We hit them hard and kept them penned in for the majority of the second half and I couldn’t have asked for much more of them.

“I think that we had to make sure that we went back to basics tonight, to be hard to beat and it worked a treat.”

Hopkin praised his players’ desire, and in particular the makeshift midfield four of Cameron Blues, Rabin Omar, Aidan Nesbitt and Robbie Muirhead.

He believes that luck was on their side, admitting that it would have been harsh had they lost a late goal having committed men up the park.

He said: “I think that the five guys who played in defence wanted to defend and I’ve got to give credit to the midfield in front of them, which was made up of Kai who was carrying a knock, Bluesy and Rabin along with Aidan Nesbitt and Robbie Muirhead against a Premiership side.

“I knew that they could do it because they’ve got the legs and an abundance of energy, it was really brave.

“We dealt with every cross that came in and although we didn’t create much in the first half, you could see towards the end that we could’ve one the game by one or two goals.

“If they’d broken away and scored right at the end it would’ve been nothing short of a travesty with the amount of effort that we put in.

“I’m delighted, with the players and their attitude and the way that they’ve bounced back from a poor result at the weekend.”