MORTON gaffer David Hopkin believes using the furlough scheme kept the core of his squad together.

The Ton manager says he wouldn't have had an experienced team at his disposal this season had it not been for the government intervention during the summer.

Hopkin is grateful for the support the job retention scheme offered and says it has been a lifeline on and off the park at Cappielow.

He told the Tele: “It’s a very very competitive league and everything is still to play for.

“We’ve been the same where not a lot has changed for us, the club has cut back last year and it has cut back again this year, which has been difficult.

“Thanks to the furlough scheme we’ve managed to keep a squad of players together.

“If we didn’t use that I don't know where we’d be, we’d probably be using 10 kids from the academy and the younger players from the first team who were on extended deals.

“These are the things I think that Morton fans need to realise that these players have been magnificent for me.

“It’s been more about me being a human being and keeping players in work.

“I think that this has kept everyone in a job – staff and players alike - and I think that they appreciate that."

Two wins and a draw after five games sees Morton lie sixth in the Championship and Hopkin praised his players for making a solid start to the campaign.

He said: “I think that the players who are in this squad and the staff give everything for this club.

“All the players are buying into what we’re trying to do and that’s the main thing.

“We’re trying to pick a side that’s going to go and get us points and as I said before I think that that was a fantastic point to get at the weekend against Arbroath.”

The Ton manager praised his back five after bouncing back from the 5-0 reverse at Raith Rovers by keeping back-to-back clean sheets against Partick and Arbroath at the weekend.

He believes that summer arrival Michael Ledger is showing exactly why he went all out to get his man.

Hopkin said: “I’m really happy with Michael and the way that he’s adapting and growing into the position to play at right wing-back.

“He’s come in during pre-season and then had to go away because the money situation at the club was a bit tight.

“I spoke to his agent and we managed to get a deal done and over the line, so he’s maybe been two or three weeks to catch up with the rest of the squad and get up to speed.

“You could see at the weekend that he was aggressive and his a very good defender."