Morton manager Jim Duffy is adamant his side’s narrow 1-0 win over Spartans in this season’s Petrofac Training Cup means nothing in relation to this Saturday’s William Hill Scottish Cup fourth-round tie between the sides at Ainslie Park.
The Lowland League side were edged out by their League 1 hosts at Cappielow in July, with Spartans earning plaudits for their performance. However, Duffy is expecting a totally different tie in north Edinburgh and believes Spartans have lost their “unknown” tag.
“I don’t think the game earlier in the season has any real relevance now,” said Duffy. “We’ve both moved on since then and there’s probably been a few changes in personnel and stuff like that. What it did tell us is that they’re a very organised side so, from that perspective, the players will be aware.
“Spartans wouldn’t have been ‘unknown’ to me anyway. I’d seen them when I was at Clyde and in pre-season when they played Hibs. I think when you play opposition nowadays anyway you do a bit of homework.
“Spartans have been around for a while and have had a really good reputation for a long time now.”
Spartans achieved one of the upsets of the third round when they eliminated Duffy’s former club Clyde. “Spartans have been very consistent over the last couple of years and don’t have many poor performances. You have to work hard to get a result against them and the Clyde result shows that they can match the league teams,” said Duffy.
The Morton manager is unfazed by the plastic pitch at Ainslie Park. “Half the leagues are played on artificial surfaces now,” said Duffy. “We just played Airdrie on one and there’s a number of teams that have it so I don’t think the players will concern themselves with it. It’s not as foreign to them as it was a few years ago.”