MORTON boss Dougie Imrie says the only thing that disappointed him in last night’s friendly defeat to St Mirren was the scoreline as he looks to take the positives of his side’s first-half display into this weekend’s Premier Sports Cup opener.

Imrie watched his side fall to a 2-0 loss to Stephen Robinson’s Europa Conference League-bound team after two clinical first half strikes from Irish forward Roland Idowu gave the Buddies breathing space.

But the scoreline wasn’t a true reflection of the game itself as Imrie’s new style of play saw his side put the Paisley men on the ropes for long periods as Lamar Reynolds, Grant Gillespie, Cameron Blues and Owen Moffat saw chances go begging in the opening period.

Imrie told the Tele: “You’re always disappointed to lose games, regardless of who the opponent is.

“But my only disappointment from Tuesay is in the result. I thought in the main, especially in the first half, we played St Mirren off the pitch.

“St Mirren got their goals from our mistakes - the other opportunities that they had was from us trying to force things.

“In the main the first half performance was excellent.

“It shows how quickly the boys are trying to adapt to this new way that we want to play, but with no disrespect, if it was a lower level of opposition that we were facing, we probably win the game.

“The difference is, that when you play top quality opposition they kill you.

“St Mirren got their two opportunities and punished us twice by putting the ball in the back of the net.

“In the main, first half especially, I thought we were excellent.

“But that’s the way we want them to play, we want them to be brave to take the ball and to pass it.

“It’ll take time to fully implement it but I thought we saw that on.”

Imrie takes his side to the east coast this weekend as they kick off the Premier Sports Cup group stages with a trip to Methill where they’ll go head-to-head with Dick Campbell’s East Fife.

And the Ton chief was keen to show respect to the former Arbroath gaffer and his new side as he challenged Ton to navigate the circumstances and take the game to their opponents, who’ve enjoyed a positive pre-season.

He said: “People may think that if we can play like we did against St Mirren then we’ll get off to a winning start.

“I think we need to give a lot of respect to East Fife, because every game is different.

“Not every game is the same, last night the pitch was really slick and we were able to move the ball sharply.

“Saturday could see their astroturf being bone dry, which would mean the ball doesn’t move as well and the game will be different.

“We have to respect them, we’ll not get away from that. But we need to go there and implement our game and if we can do that then we’ll hopefully come away with a positive result.”

Asked about the impact of new forwards, Lamar Reynolds and Jordan Davies, Imrie believes that they’ll now be fully understanding of what’s required to adapt to their new surroundings.

Both have found the back of the net once during pre-season, against League One opposition and Imrie says that the League Cup groups will provide the perfect chance for them to find their groove in the coming weeks.

He added: “They’ll know how tough it’s going to be this season, they’ll know the difference in the levels of opposition now. They were up against a good team with good defenders on Tuesday.

“But they’re still trying to get up to speed. It’s still the early part of pre season and they’re adjusting to their surroundings.

“Again, no disrespect to who we’ve played so far and who we’ll come up against, but touch wood come the Partick game everyone will be firing on all cylinders.”