REECE Lyon believes being left out the Morton side earlier in the campaign has given him the mental strength needed to become a mainstay in the first team.

The Ton academy graduate found himself out of the picture for most of the year under former boss David Hopkin.

Lyon has grabbed his chance after returning to first-team action last month and the midfielder says that his time out of the side has added an extra edge to his game.

He is now focused on cementing his place in the Morton engine room under interim boss Anton McElhone.

He told the Tele: “It’s been good to be back in the team. I’m feeling like myself again and think all I needed was a bit of confidence shown in me to try and get myself going.

“I hadn’t managed a full 90 minutes since before the beginning of February before the Partick game in the cup, but it’s been great to be back playing in a way that I know I can.

“It wasn’t easy watching on from the bench or even sometimes from the stand, which is even harder, and to go into training every day knowing that you’re going in to essentially keep yourself fit for the sake of it, it’s hard on your mentality.

“I tried my best to stick with it and continued to work hard in training. Thankfully before the gaffer left he’d given me a chance again at Partick and Arbroath and Anton [McElhone], Jim [McAlister] and Midge [Chris Millar] have started me in both their games too.

“I’ve felt as if I’ve started off well so I’m really hoping that I can just keep it going now and really kick on.

“It’s been a great couple of weeks for us. I don’t think anyone would have expected us to have taken a point off Dunfermline - let alone three – and I thought we were pretty comfortable.

“Then we came back to Cappielow and felt confident and we got another three points, and I feel as if I’m back to my best.

“I feel as if I'm back in my most natural position, although I’m happy to play where I'm needed. I feel as if I benefit from being in a six or an eight.

“I’ve been able to show another side to my game as well in running about and getting the ball back and that was thanks to Hoppy.

“He implemented that into my game, because he knew I had it in me.

"It's thanks to him that I’ve got a bit about me now and am able to show that in games when it matters.”

Lyon has challenged his team-mates to continue their purple streak when John Robertson’s Inverness come to Cappielow on Boxing Day.

The midfielder believes that his side can mount some significant pressure on Dunfermline and Hearts and cement themselves in the play-off places going into the New Year.

He said: “I’ve got a couple of goals against Inverness so far so hopefully I can grab another one on Saturday.

“I’m sure we’ll be confident going into it. We’ll enjoy Christmas tomorrow and then focus on the Saturday and hopefully make it three wins from three.

“A win would really change our outlook for the season, we’re third in the table just now and I know that Raith have a game in hand, but it’s against Hearts so the pressure is on them.

“If we make it three out of three, I don’t know when we last did that so it would be a massive achievement for us all and it would mean that we can put some pressure on Dunfermline and Hearts above us as well as going into the Ayr game full of confidence.”