Morton up for the cup

Morton boss Jim Duffy admits his players will have to take their game to a whole new level if they are to upset Aberdeen in Saturday’s Betfred Cup semi-final.

The Greenock men have already stunned both Kilmarnock and Hamilton on the way to their Hampden showdown with Derek McInnes’ Dons.

They also secured a sensational 5-0 win over Queen of the South last week on the Doonhamers’ own patch.

But Cappielow boss Duffy confessed even those displays will not be enough to topple their Pittodrie opponents.

He said: “We’ve played well on half a dozen occasions this year against good teams away from home.

“We beat Kilmarnock and Hamilton and then got a great result against Queen of the South last week.

“We have shown on our day we can certainly compete against good sides.

“But Aberdeen are a different proposition. They have finished second only to Celtic in back-to-back Premiership campaigns.

“They look as if they are going to be the only team to chase them again this year.

“This is a whole different level for us and we need to try and find an extra gear if we’re going to give them a game.”

The match is the Ton’s first semi-final in a major competition for 35 years but Duffy hopes his players will not have to wait so long for their next taste of the big-match atmosphere.

“I hope for my players’ sake this isn’t a once-in-a-career occasion,” he said. “I want it to be the first of many for them.

“We’ve got a young side. I can say they are good enough and they can believe it themselves.

“But ultimately we won’t know until they are in amongst it.

“Before then you have no idea how they will cope with the expectation that’s on them, how they cope with the spotlight.

“For a lot of them this is the first time around for them, while Aberdeen have all the experience having been in the final and a few semis over the last few years.

“Allied to their quality, that should make the difference for Aberdeen.

“But football is not a game where everything always goes to plan. The underdog always has a chance somewhere along the way, even if it’s a slim one.”

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