MORTON have been dealt another blow after Ross MacIver's loan deal was cut short by parent club Motherwell.

MacIver was one of seven summer arrivals under previous gaffer David Hopkin after agreeing to a season-long loan and made nine appearances under both Hopkin and Anton McElhone.

The 21-year-old is set to follow Josh McPake out the exit door after he was recalled by Rangers last week ahead of a proposed move south of the border.

While disappointed to see both youngsters recalled, McElhone believes that as one door closes, another one opens as it gives a chance to other players in the squad to make a jersey their own.

He told the Tele: “Ross I think has been recalled by Motherwell and it’s happening at present.

"Obviously to lose him as well as Josh is a big blow for us.

“With them losing their manager, they’ve decided to recall the majority of their youngsters who were out on loan.

“We’re gutted that we weren’t able to keep him longer, but we understand – he is a Motherwell player at the end of the day.

“The opportunity is there for him to go back, with the Motherwell coaches from the youth team who know him better from the reserves and he might get his opportunity to go and play first team football at an even higher level, so you can’t knock him for that.

“He was a hard working player for us and you saw that for the few months that he was here, he maybe could’ve played more games under myself but he’s a fantastic young talent and I hope that he knuckles down and continues his development and hopefully they can see the kind of player that we had.

“He really improved whilst he was here, whilst learning how to do the simple things well and it was tough for him too because he was fighting with Gary Oliver and Kalvin Orsi, who have nearly got 300 games between them under their belts.

“That was tough for him, but again, he handled it well and hopefully he’s gone back to Motherwell a better player for spending maybe three or four months with us.”

McElhone wouldn't be drawn on any January transfer business going forward and insists that his main priority is to keep the squad he has at his disposal together.

However, he admitted that the club are always on the lookout to improve the squad should it be needed.

He added: “You need to wait and see what happens in January.

“You need to see if players are unhappy because of a lack of games in your own squad and such and take things from there.

“We’re looking to keep what we’ve got, that’s the most important thing.

“The club is always looking at what they could bring in, but we might not be able to happen because of other clubs, players and a million other things that can get in the way.

“We’ll be looking to keep the players that we’ve got and then see what we can do.

"If the right things come up then you never know what could happen, but our main concern is getting through the next few weeks to keep money coming through the club.

“It’s the same as where we were for the first few months of the season.”