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Guest Brian M

Perth move can save my career, says Morris

JODY Morris insists he can still cut it in the English Premier League. But the one-time Chelsea star yesterday tied up a deal to the end of the season with a St Johnstone side aiming for the SPL.

Fed-up waiting to land a big money deal in England after a full pre-season with relegated Charlton, the diminutive midfielder admitted a friendship forged with Perth manager Derek McInnes at Millwall has lured him north of the border.

Morris, who could be pitched into tomorrow's Tayside derby clash with championship rivals Dundee, insisted: "I feel I can play at the top level. I finished the season last year training with Chelsea and didn't feel out of place. I'm confident I can still compete at that level.

"Even when I went to Charlton after they were relegated they still had most of their Premiership players on the books and I more than held my own there. My confidence and belief in my ability is still as strong as ever.

"But I've kept in touch with the gaffer (McInnes] since he moved back up from Millwall and we had a chat about my situation.

"He just asked me if I fancied coming to St Johnstone with him and I jumped at the chance. This is a chance for me to get myself fit, go in the shop window and also help Del and the team here out.

"I've got a massive amount of respect for him. He's been a good friend and I like the way he thinks about the game."

Reflecting on a career which dipped after the glory days at Stamford Bridge, Morris confessed: "My Chelsea days were the bestof my career and since then I've suffered from making some bad decisions.

"The way my career has panned out since I left has been a letdown. Things didn't go as they should have done and of course I regret that.

"I've made mistakes and poor choices and I know I've suffered because of them.

"When I left Chelsea I was the longest-serving player. I'd been there from the age of five. They offered me a five-year contract to stay but I rejected it. One bad decision can change the course of your life."

"In my last season (at Chelsea] I started 30-odd games and helped them qualify for the Champions League. That was only four years ago and the club has changed so much since then."

Manager McInnes said: "I'm sure this can be advantageous for him and St Johnstone. Jody is a much better player than First Division level. If he needs to prove that hopefully we will benefit."

The full article contains 453 words and appears in The Scotsman newspaper.Last Updated: 28 February 2008 10:46 PM

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