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Last Updated: Friday, 17 September, 2004, 21:07 GMT 22:07 UK
McLaughlin given Ton chance
Joe McLaughlin
McLaughlin has much experience as player and coach
Caretaker Joe McLaughlin aims to prove he is the man for the manager's job full-time after Morton set a closing date of 29 September for applications.

The Greenock club's board have agreed unanimously to set the date and appoint McLaughlin for an interim period.

"I'm caretaker manager until the end of the month, when the club will look at things again," said McLaughlin.

"There have been a lot of applicants, so hopefully we can get some good results to base their decision on."

McLaughlin, whose long playing career saw him turn out for Chelsea, Charlton Athletic, Watford, Falkirk, Hibernian and Clydebank as well as Morton, has previous coaching experience with St Mirren and as assistant to Mark McGhee at Millwall.

He was youth coach at Cappielow until the sacking of John McCormack and his assistant, Stephen Frail.

And McLaughlin started brightly as unofficial caretaker at the weekend, when Morton earned a creditable draw away to Second Division leaders Stirling Albion.

Morton are seeking their fourth manager since Douglas Rae saved the club from administration in 2001.

McCormack followed Peter Cormack and Dave McPherson just five league games into the new season, despite having been given a year's extension to his contract at the end of last term.

Rae said at the time that the decision had been taken because "match results since January of this year have been much poorer than expected, with only a 39% success rate being achieved from all league and cup games played, despite the exceptional input and work rate provided by the manager and his assistant".

Morton last season squandered a sizeable lead in Division Two - and even failed to win promotion - amid accusations that players had taken out bets against themselves lifting the title.

They were again expected to make their full-time status tell this season but lie fifth, six points behind Stirling.

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