ADAM Morgan had Luis Suarez on his mind yesterday as Stevie May finally ended all the speculation over his future by signing for Sheffield Wednesday in an £800,000 deal from St Johnstone.
May's decision to swap Perth for Yorkshire leaves 20-year-old Morgan sizing up the challenge of filling the boots of a player who scored 27 goals last season as his side won the Scottish Cup for the first time in their history and netted in Europa League clashes with Luzern and Spartak Trnava this term.
But one-time Liverpool youngster Morgan, a former England under-19 international, knows all about daunting hurdles having found himself jostling with former Anfield superstar Suarez as he tried to make a name for himself.
St Johnstone manager Tommy Wright has confirmed Morgan will feature when his men face Ross County today in the SPFL curtain raiser, with Celtic and Hamilton following hard on their heels after last week's energy-sapping Europa League exit to Spartak.
Morgan recalled those tough days on Merseyside, but is now determined to emerge from the wings to take centre stage with Saints. He said: "When you see guys like Suarez coming in it can be hard for a young lad.
"It was amazing training with guys like Suarez and Steven Gerrard at Liverpool. I was in there every day and these guys just saying good morning to you made your day. I played three times for the first team. It didn't work out for me there, but hopefully I can make an impact here. I have been swotting up on Scottish football. I will meet the lads before we head up north to play Ross County. We play Celtic in midweek so it would be great to be involved that."
Ross County manager Derek Adams, meanwhile, is aiming for a better start to the Premiership campaign than usual, but experience has shown him there is no need to panic if it fails to materialise.
County have struggled in the opening halves of their two seasons in the top flight before January reinforcements helped them finish strongly to secure fifth and seventh places.
And Adams is relaxed enough to know there is no need for snap judgments. He said: "Players took a bit of time to adjust last season and some who had been here didn't start the season well. That combined meant we didn't start that well.
"Whoever starts well gets confidence and that puts them on a good run. Partick Thistle got 20 points on board very early last season, but they finished in 10th place. It doesn't mean that if you start well you also finish well. It's over the course of the season that you are judged, not the start, not the middle, it's throughout the 36 games."