JIM McAlister insists that he is looking to keep on racking up games for his boyhood club after becoming Morton's fourth highest all-time appearance holder.

The Ton skipper, who made his 354th appearance on Saturday, says that it was an honour to make his debut for his local side nearly 18 years ago in December, coming on in a 1-0 win against Peterhead.

He admitted that he never envisaged himself running out in the blue and white hoops another 350-plus times since then and that he is eternally grateful to the club for giving him his chance in the game.

He told the Tele: “It’s a great achievement to be that high up the list and I hadn’t actually realised that I was that high up with some real legends of the club.

“As I have kept saying, I’d rather the team kept picking up three points on a Saturday than worrying about appearances.

“I’m getting on in football terms now. I’m turning 35 soon so it’s nice to look back and have that behind you, but I’m always trying to look forward and to try and chalk up a few more.

“I’m honoured to have been able to create a legacy like that and accumulate so many appearances for my local team.

“I’ve always said it when folk have asked me about it, I was just delighted to make one appearance away back in 2002 against Peterhead.

“I was absolutely over the moon to just pull on the jersey that one time.

“Did I ever think I'd go on and make as many as I have? Probably not.

“I’ve been fortunate enough and I always say how grateful I am for it, that the club gave me an opportunity to start out in professional football and then they’ve given me the opportunity to come back to the club for a second time.

“In coming back, I’ll try my damndest to help the club progress and to try and get to that next level.”

The 35-year-old insists that Ton need to take things one step at a time as they look to build on their solid start to the season, which sees them one point off the play-off places.

He urged his team-mates to keep up their relentless home form, having not been beaten at Cappielow in 2020, and build on their away form after picking up their first point on the road at Gayfield on Saturday.

He added: “We’ve not spoken about what could happen with the season as of yet, we don’t look further ahead than the next game in front of us.

“Everyone knows how strong Hearts are, the calibre of international players that they’ve got in their squad.

“They should be way stronger than everyone else.

“I think that you could throw a blanket over the rest of the teams in the league in terms of standard, it’s going to be that team that’s most consistent that’s going to cause problems.

“It’s important that we maintain our home form and keep picking up points at home and now that we build on our away form after picking up a point at Arbroath at the weekend.”