GARY Harkins is going back to the future with Morton this season. Not only has this well-travelled local boy won over many of the club’s supporters who doubted him when he first signed, the 32-year-old has been rolling back the years by re-learning a deep-lying central midfield role which he hasn’t played since the days in the youth ranks at Celtic and Blackburn Rovers.

Morton have rarely fired on all cylinders this season as they look to build on a play-off place in the previous campaign but there were glimpses in Tuesday’s 1-1 draw against St Mirren that they are well capable of post-season play for a second successive season if they can piece together a consistent run of results. Having failed to lose in their last six matches, next up for Harkins and his team-mates is the challenge presented by bottom side Brechin City and that infamous Glebe Park hedge.

“I'm playing central midfield now, where before people have maybe played me off a striker,” said Harkins. “And it is a completely different game. I am doing my bit, doing what I am asked to do. I started out playing that position, when I was at Blackburn Rovers and Celtic as a kid, and at other places too, so I know the position, it is just getting used to doing it again - in the way the manager wants me to play it. I am quite happy to go in there, play away and do my bit.”

Harkins had something to lose when he joined his hometown team after a lengthy, itinerant career last summer but he said he had no hang-ups about signing for Jim Duffy’s side, even if some felt he was something of a luxury player. “At least you know the people who are booing you!” he joked. “No, it's fine. I've enjoyed it, it is close to home and enjoyable for me. Some people down here maybe thought I was something that I am not, but you just go out and if you get the plaudits you get the plaudits. If you get the stick, you get the stick. It is part and parcel of the game.

“This is a really good dressing room,” he added. “I joined in the summer knowing it was going to be tough for me to get into the team. But I have been lucky enough to get a run of games, and I think we've been playing well. The gaffer has been great so I can't really complain.

“I have been up to Brechin quite a lot over the years and it is always a tough place to go. The conditions will be tough, and they have some good players. They will be well organised and it will be a tough game. We've got to go, be professional, play to the game plan and hopefully get three points.

“This is a really really tight league. There's some very good teams in it, some very well organised teams. It is a tough league, go into every single game looking to get the three points. Most games are tight. The aim is just to finish as high up as we can. If we can get there [the play-offs], then happy days.”