Morton put faith in new coach Kenny Shiels

Kenny Shiels has been announced as Morton's new manager. Picture: Robert Perry
Kenny Shiels has been announced as Morton's new manager. Picture: Robert Perry
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Kenny Shiels is back in football management after Greenock Morton yesterday named the Northern Irishman as their new manager.

Morton, two points adrift at the bottom of the SPFL Championship ahead of this afternoon’s match away to Alloa Athletic, had been looking for a new boss following the sacking last month of Allan Moore.

The likes of David Hopkin, Billy Reid and Barry Smith had been linked with the post at Cappielow, but yesterday the club turned to former Kilmarnrock manager Shiels, who will be officially unveiled by chairman Douglas Rae on Monday.

In a website statement last night, the club stated: “He has been brought in to keep Morton in the Championship.”

Hopkin, who has been in caretaker charge since Moore’s departure on 23 November, will remain in charge of the side for today’s game at Recreation Park. Thereafter, the former Morton and Scotland midfielder will return to his job as development manager while assisting Shiels in first-team training.

Shiels, who had been youth coach at Tranmere Rovers, joined Kilmarnock as assistant manager to Mixu Paatelainen in 2010 before taking charge a year later. But the 57-year-old was sacked in June.

Earlier this week, Shiels had told BBC Scotland that he feared he would not be given another manager’s job in Scotland because he had not played football in the country. It was understood the Northern Irishman was on the shortlist for the vacant post at Inverness Caledonian Thistle but the Highland club instead chose John Hughes.

Morton lost two games under Hopkin, 4-0 to Caley Thistle in the Scottish Cup then 2-1 to

Dundee in the Championship with Shiels watching from the Cappielow stand.

It is believed Shiels met with his new players after training on yesterday to outline his vision for the club but he is not expected to be in the dugout until next week.