Scottish League Cup: Morton's big day worry for Kilday

Morton captain Lee Kilday
Morton captain Lee Kilday says Saturday is a "once in a lifetime opportunity"
Scottish League Cup semi-final: Greenock Morton v Aberdeen
Date: Saturday 22 October Venue: Hampden Park, Glasgow Kick-off: 12:15 BST
Coverage: BBC Radio Scotland, BBC Sport website

Lee Kilday is praying that his only spell out injured in two years will not rule him out of Greenock Morton's first major cup semi-final in 35 years.

The Morton captain has returned to training after four weeks out with an ankle knock ahead of the Scottish League Cup meeting with Aberdeen.

"I just started back training this week and played in a reserve game during the week there," said defender Kilday.

"I feel fit enough, but the boys have been playing well."

Morton, who beat two other Premiership sides - Kilmarnock and Hamilton Academical - on the way to the last four, have won four of their last five games.

The latest was an eye-catching 5-0 hammering of Queen of the South in Dumfries that led to their opponents being knocked off the top of the Championship table.

"The boys were brilliant last week," said Kilday. "They were magnificent - probably our best performance of the season.

"We're very confident, but we know Aberdeen are a very good team and it will be a hard game.

"We can't go to Hampden and defend for 90 minutes. We need to go out and play as well.

"Anything can happen because it's a one-off game."

Jai Quitongo
Jai Quitongo will face his old side at Hampden

Morton will be without midfielder Ross Forbes, who is suspended after picking up two yellow cards, but Gavin Gunning is another vying for a return to the Greenock side's defence on Saturday after recovering from injury.

"Since I came to Morton, I've basically played every game - I've never really been injured," said 24-year-old Kilday, who signed after leaving Hamilton in 2014.

"This is the only time I've been injured and we are in a semi-final, so it would be very disappointing if I don't play, but it is the gaffer's decision and I can't really complain if I don't play."

Kilday says his side's progress to their first semi-final since losing to Rangers in the Scottish Cup in 1981 has captured the imagination of the Greenock public and inspired the team.

"It's a big day for the club and the town," he said. "I'm sure the fans will come in numbers, so it'll be a great day for them.

"Playing the games leading up to this game, everybody's buzzing, so obviously it's been good for the club, it's been good for the boys, it's given us something to look forward to and I think it's shown in our performances.

"It would mean a lot, being the captain, just to get to a final and play in a final.

"You wouldn't expect Morton to get to a final, so it's a once in a lifetime chance because we're not expected to get to the semi-final either."

Kilday is fully aware of the threat posed by a Dons side sitting second top of the Premiership and picked out on-loan Norwich City midfielder James Maddison, along with attackers Jonny Hayes, Niall McGinn and Adam Rooney, as the major threat.

However, he suggested that Jim Duffy's side had their own match winner in Jai Quitongo, the 19-year-old former Aberdeen winger who has attracted interest from a number of English clubs.

"His pace, his power can cause them problems," added his captain. "Against Hamilton and Kilmarnock, he did really well, so I think he'll be a big threat to Aberdeen.

"Obviously it's his old club as well, so he'll want to show them what they're missing.

"He's really looking forward to it - he's a confident boy anyway, so I don't think he'll be too nervous and he doesn't let the speculation affect him."

Top Stories