MORTON hitman Gary Oliver has today urged his team-mates to prove last season's relegation scrap was a one off as he aims to be battling at the top half of the Championship next term.

The striker admits Ton underachieved last season and believes they can aim higher with Gus MacPherson and Andy Millen at the helm.

Having ended the season on a high with play-off victories against Montrose and Airdrie, Oliver hopes they can carry that form into the new campaign next month.

He told the Tele: “We did underachieve as a team last season. We all think that, so hopefully we can go out and prove the doubters wrong now and prove that we’re capable of better performances on a consistent basis.

“It was tough for us but we managed to find the right form at the right time under the manager and Andy, so it’s all about proving a point this time around."

The 25-year-old, who penned a new one-year deal earlier this month, hopes that he can carry his hot streak over into the new campaign after netting three goals in his last four games as he aims to be a key man up front.

He said: “I think that the change of formation really helped me towards the end of the season.

"When you’re playing one up front it’s hard because you’re having to do everything yourself, hold it up, knock it in behind and run the channels.

"But if you’ve got someone up there with you, like Robbie [Muirhead] was at the end, the workload is halved, and you can try to get on the end of things.

“One thing I really like about working with the manager is that he plays a lot of forward players and it was a big factor in me staying. Hopefully it means I can get in about it which results in more goals like it did at the end of the season.

“The run that we went on in the play-offs was a big confidence booster for us all but for me especially after getting a few goals.

“I really want to carry things over into the new campaign and keep on scoring and contributing to the team as much as I can.”

Oliver believes that Kilmarnock and Hamilton Accies will be in for a tough ride in their bids to return to the Premiership at the first time of asking.

He believes that the league will be tighter than ever with no clear favourites to lift the title.

He added: “It's not an easy league to play in and the teams who have come down might be in for a wee shock.

"It’s just as hard as playing in the Premiership, if not harder, because of how tight and competitive it will be.

“You just need to look at how we played against Motherwell, who were one of the better teams we came up against, and on the day you’d probably say that we were the better side and unfortunate to go out of the Scottish Cup.

“We got results against Dundee and Hearts as well in the final four games, so we know what we can be capable of and it’s all about kicking on now and really showing what we’re all about.”