MARK Russell says returning to Morton gave him the chance to say a proper goodbye as he left Cappielow for the second time.

The full-back joined fellow defender Michael Ledger in exiting the club as his season-long second spell came to an end this week.

Russell, who made over 150 appearances for the Greenock club, revealed he regretted the way he left in 2018 and is happy that is able to depart in the right manner this time around.

He told the Tele: "It has been brilliant really.

"There have been quite a lot of ups and downs over the years.

"The way I left the first time was not the way I wanted to leave but these things happen.

"I am glad I came back for that final year and I got to say goodbye properly this time.

"I can’t thank them enough for what they have done for me in my career."

Russell says that getting regular first team action was a key factor behind his decision to leave Morton, as he prepares to become a free agent when his current deal ends in June.

The 26-year-old re-joined Dougie Imrie’s side last summer for a second stint at Cappielow having spent five years at the club between 2013 and 2018.

However, he had a feeling that he would be parting ways with the club due to a lack of starts this term.

He said: "That is football for you. I kind of knew in my head that I was going to be moving on at the end of the season with my game time being limited.

"It is just one of those things. I will move on and there are no hard feelings and I wish the club all the best.

"I have enjoyed all the years I was there, but for me it is time to move on and try something new.

"I am 26 now so I want to be playing week-in, week-out. Obviously I was in and out the team, I want to go and get back enjoying my football and play every week if possible."

Russell believes it was the best decision on both sides for him to go his separate ways.

He said: "After the game things were a bit raw after we lost 3-0, but I spoke to him and we just discussed it.

"I basically said I think it is better for me to move on and he said the exact same thing really.

"I have played with him before and I know what he is like and I get on well with him.

"But he sat me down and said I think it is better for you to go and I just said I agree.

"There were a lot of different faces when I came back that time, obviously all friendly, and I got on well with everybody.

"I wish them all the best and hopefully I am able to pop down to a game or two in the future and support them."