Who is to blame for Robbie Crawford’s recent struggles with Morton?

Robbie Crawford, courtesy of dsargent.co.uk

Robbie Crawford’s loan spell with Morton got off to a bright start but that luster has dwindled as he enters his third month with the club.  While players like Kyle McAusland, Barrie McKay, Calum Gallagher, & Danny Stoney have experienced a good deal of success while out on loan – Crawford appears to have hit a wall.

He has only played a full 90 minutes in one of his past six matches – either being pulled off the pitch near the hour mark or beginning the game as a sub.  He has made eight appearances in total, scoring the lone goal.

Andrew Ward, who covers Morton for Scotzine, discussed Crawford’s stint with Rangers Report.  “Robbie’s start at Cappielow has been somewhat a surprise.”

“What we thought we were getting was a player who is fit, quick and has good technical skill.  Not all of those expectations have quite been met,  just yet.

“His work rate seems to be his strongest skill, which will be a major assest to any club.  However, the reason Robbie’s time at Morton hasn’t been fantastic is, in my opinion, down to manager, Jim Duffy.

Jim Duffy

“Robbie naturally plays in the centre of midfield, which is not where he has been played since his loan move. Instead, due to injuries and suspensions, he’s moved to a wide left role – something he isn’t use too.”

“This is noticeable in his performances, as he tends to drift into the middle of the pitch, which leaves us a man down on the left hand side.  As a result, we are hit hard by our opponents.”

“However, just over a week ago, Crawford came off the bench against Dunfermline and, in my opinion, was hugely influential in helping us gain all three points.”

“His creative spark was exactly what we needed to break down a stubborn Pars’ back line.  This is an element of his game that shows promise, but he will need to continue that weekly to firmly cement his place in the squad.”

“It’s understandable at such a young age not to have the right level of discipline when played out of position, but if Mr. Duffy continues to insist on playing Robbie in this role, it’s something the youngster will have to improve on.”

Thomas O’Ware, courtesy of SNS

“His chance at playing central midfield will also be quite a challenge.  At this moment in time, Joe McKee and Thomas O’Ware occupy the two central mid roles, and are both performing well.  With McKee being sent off on Saturday, though [against Airdrieonians in the Scottish Cup], Robbie may be presented with his chance.”

Crawford’s loan comes to an end at the end of the year.  He probably has little chance at much first team action for Rangers this season & would likely be relegated to the U20s for the most part.  Last season, Barrie McKay was in a similar predicament & eventually extended a short term loan into a longer one with Morton once it became clear he was not in Ally McCoist’s plans.  Even if Crawford has struggled, his work rate & ‘compete’ level is something that Morton would likely embrace.

Ward added, “Only Jim Duffy will know whether or not he’ll stay on beyond then.”

“Personally, I’d like to see him stay on.  He’s shown signs of what he has in his locker, and the characteristics he possess could help us pick up valuable points as we push for the title.”

Morton currently sit third in the League One table – four points behind Forfar Athletic.

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