PAUL QUINN admitted Dundee United’s dismal display in their 3-0 defeat to Morton at Tannadice on Saturday must act as a “wake-up call” as their chances of winning the Ladbrokes Championship title hang by a thread, writes Kenneth Ward.

Goals from Thomas O’Ware, Scott Tiffoney and Jack Iredale moved Jim Duffy’s side to within two points of the promotion play-off places with a game in hand.

But following recent defeats to the Buddies and their humbling 6-1 reverse against Falkirk earlier this month, Quinn insists the United players need to muster a complete turnaround.

"It's difficult to sum up a performance like that. It's embarrassing to concede three goals at home to anyone and lose like that,” he told ArabZONE.

"It's the second time in a number of weeks we've been dealt a heavy blow and it's a wake-up call.”

Morton appeared to get off to a perfect start when Frank Ross’s third-minute cross from the left was headed into the net by Gary Oliver, but the linesman’s flag was raised.

With only Billy King on the left providing the Taysiders any creativity in the Morton half, Derek Gaston was hardly tested in the visiting goal.

And when the former Hearts winger’s corner-kick was met by Paul Quinn, the ball struck O’Ware on the thigh, with the home supporters’ calls for a penalty ignored by referee Barry Cook.

The visitors took the lead when Michael Tidser’s left-foot cross from the right was headed home by O’Ware in the 35th-minute, before a moment of magic got the second half up and running as Tiffoney scrambled the ball past Mark Durnan and from 25 yards out his spectacular strike with the outside of his right boot curled into the top-left corner of the net leaving Harry Lewis with no chance.

Into the last quarter of an hour, it was Morton who continued to press and with the skill and endeavour of the evergreen Harkins in the middle of the park setting the tone, they really started to get a foothold. The former Dundee favourite cruised through the match, nullifying the threat of Scott McDonald before the former Celtic striker’s 50th-minute substitution.

And Ton made their dominance count in 80 minutes when Jack Iredale slalomed through the static United defence, beating four players and rounding it off with a tidy finish into the bottom-right corner.

United looked a deflated force in the dying minutes and as their supporters left in their droves, it would appear that any hope of clinching the Championship title has also abandoned them.