MORTON manager Gus MacPherson admits his side face an uphill battle to salvage their Championship status after Saturday's first-leg defeat against Montrose.

The Ton boss says that he didn’t get a response from his players after they were pegged back level courtesy of Russell McLean’s strike midway through the second half.

Graham Webster then gave the Gable Endies a slender advantage going into tomorrow night's second leg at Cappielow.

MacPherson says Morton have it all to do if they are to see off Stewart Petrie's men and reach the play-off final.

He told the Tele: “Of course Montrose have the advantage when they come to our place.

“It wasn’t the result that we were looking for by any means and the game changes as it goes on.

“We have got to deal with the conditions in the second half and we lost a really poor first goal which you could see the lift that they got from scoring.

Morton on brink of relegation after defeat at Montrose

“We’ve struggled to deal with the elements in the second half but we didn’t react well enough to the goal.

“That was the disappointing factor, when you lose a goal you’re always looking for a reaction in the game and to the conditions that you find yourselves in and we didn’t get that.

“We just need to take it on the chin going into Tuesday.

“We’ve made it difficult for ourselves and it won't be easy as we now need to go and get a couple of goals."

MacPherson was happy to see front men Gary Oliver and Kalvin Orsi link up well to score early on, something he hopes can help spur his team to victory tomorrow.

The Ton boss added: “We started really well. We had the wind behind us in the first half and we were able to use it to our advantage, but obviously Montrose used it to theirs as well after half-time.

“Gary Oliver did well to get his goal, he’s a goal threat and he’s taken it well, so hopefully that’s him finding a bit of confidence and form at the right time.

“Kalvin Orsi did really well in the build-up to the goal, so it was good to have both strikers on the park and have them contributing.”

MacPherson admits that it would be a disaster if a club the size of Morton were to be relegated to League One.

He called for his players to keep it simple on Tuesday as he looks to turn things around and qualify for the play-off final.

He said: “I’ve only been at the club for a couple of months but I was given the task to try and maintain this club’s status in the Championship.

“I’ve no idea what could happen in terms of consequences, but all I know is that it wouldn’t be good for a club like Morton to go down to League One.

“We’ve seen it in recent times with clubs who haven’t got things right and you can get into trouble and that’s what’s happened this year, things haven’t been right for a while.

“Myself and Andy [Millen] were brought in to try and patch that up and I’ve said it time and time before, you cannot fault the effort of the players for the large part.

“We just need to go again on Tuesday and win a game of football.”