KYLE Jacobs says he is counting down the days until Morton host Dunfermline Athletic to kick off their 2021-22 Championship campaign.

The midfielder is aiming to make a solid start after Ton were yesterday paired with the Pars for the Cappielow curtain-raiser on July 31 before travelling through to New Douglas Park to face newly-relegated Hamilton Accies.

The 29-year-old believes that the festive period could determine if Ton will be looking towards the promotion play-offs, with Gus MacPherson's men facing difficult trips to Arbroath and Kilmarnock in December before first footing at Firhill against Partick Thistle on January 2.

He told the Telegraph: “I saw the fixtures before training and I can't wait to get going now.

"I’m really looking forward to getting back into it, despite the short space of time that we’ve had off.

“There isn’t going to be many easy games in the league this season as the Championship is always so competitive and, despite it being a tough start, we’ve got to play everybody at some point and I think it’ll be a good time to take on Dunfermline, especially at home.

“I’m pretty happy that we’ve got a home game to start off with before heading through to Hamilton. A good strong start to the season will be crucial this year – a good run of three or four wins will determine if we can go and push on.

“It’s three new teams coming into the league as well which is nice. It gives us something a bit different as opposed to facing the same teams all the time. That’s the excitement starting to build already now.

“The festive period will be really important for us. An area in the fixture list I look for is around Christmas and New Year and we’re not travelling too far this time around and we’ll have teams that we will be looking to be competing in and around.

“We’ve got a few home games, but hopefully by that time we’ll know where we’re aiming to be and those games can define our season in a good way."

Jacobs feels that he and his team-mates will go into the new campaign with a point to prove after battling to secure survival through the play-offs.

He is looking to avoid a repeat of last season's final day shootout at Gayfield, with Ton wrapping up their league campaign on April 29 against Dick Campbell’s side again this term.

He said: “I had a wee laugh actually when I saw that we’ve got Arbroath away on the final day again, we don’t want to be going into that game in the same circumstances as last season.

“We’ll want to know where we stand by that point but Arbroath is always a tough game and they’ll have the same ambitions as us, to be as far up the table as possible so that we won't be scrapping it out at the end of the season for survival."

Jacobs believes that Ton’s preparations will fly in as they get their pre-season underway.

Ton players returned to Parklea on Monday and the South African midfielder is confident that manager MacPherson will have a strong squad in place ahead of the new campaign.

He added: “It’s all about preparation now and it’s a clean slate for the club.

“We’ve obviously got new owners, the gaffer is in and has the role permanently as well now.

“I’m sure he’s looking to bring in players to strengthen us all the time.

“If we can do that then I think that we should be more than able to handle ourselves this season."