MORTON gaffer Gus MacPherson says the hard work starts now as he looks to build a bright future at Cappielow.

The 52-year-old penned a two-year contract to remain in the dugout until the summer of 2023 after leading Ton to safety via the play-offs.

With 11 players leaving Morton, MacPherson says that preparations are underway to rebuild his squad.

MacPherson is relishing the new campaign kicking off on July 10 when Ton travel to Stranraer for the opening group game of the Premier Sports Cup and says his main aim is to improve on last season's ninth-place finish in the Championship.

He told the Tele: “I’m absolutely delighted to have committed to the club for another two years.

“Being back in the dugout for those 12 games was brilliant. I really enjoyed being back out on the touchline compared to when I was doing my scouting and sitting in the stands.

“But it’s never been about Gus MacPherson, it’s always been about Greenock Morton Football Club and the players.

“I’ve really enjoyed working with the players, as a manager that’s who you’re there to work with.

“You’re there to work with them and the people at the club. There are a lot of good people at the club who have helped make working in the environment so comfortable, it has just been really enjoyable.

“I think it had been difficult here before I came into the club for whatever reason, but we’ve certainly enjoyed it.

“The most important thing though is on the park, we need to be competitive and to give ourselves a chance to go and win games.

“We can't wait for next season to get started now.

“There’s a lot of work going on behind the scenes to get everything organised for pre-season starting.

“Things have been going on for the last week or so now and things will continue to happen right up until we kick things off again to welcome the players back.”

MacPherson praised last season’s squad for their effort and commitment that saw them stay up after the two-legged play-off final victory over Airdrie.

He is expecting another big test but is adamant that he and his team will be up to the task to go and write some wrongs from last season.

He added: “It’s now down to myself and Andy [Millen] to try and put things in place and prepare for next season.

“The aim and objective when we came in was to stay in the Championship and the players were excellent.

“It’s going to be a challenge again but it’s one that we’re all looking forward to.

“It’s always been about trying to help the players and the club secure their objective.

“In the short space of time that we’ve been in. In 90 per cent of the games the players were excellent and they were good enough and strong enough to remain in the division and get over the line.

"That was the most important thing and we’ll set out to better that this coming season."