CUMNOCK Juniors Secretary George Morton thinks new player/manager Paul Burns can take the club back to the top.

The Nock parted company with former manager Peter Leonard on Sunday following Saturday's 7-1 defeat at the hands of Largs Thistle.

Leonard – who was in Dubai at the weekend – had missed several games this season while away on holiday including Cumnock's 0-0 Junior Cup draw with Pollok in October.

Burns will take charge of the side for the first time against rivals Glenafton Athletic at Townhead Park this weekend and Morton is hopeful ahead of the new era.

He told the Chronicle: "Paul Burns is the player/manager now and he has Stephen McKenna and Scott McCulloch alongside him.

"We've got two Cumnock boys in now, Cumnock born and bread and they have played football all their days. They've all played in the senior leagues, two with Rangers and the other has a lot of experience with Queen's Park.

"A team like Cumnock should be up there fighting at the top and hopefully we can get back there."

The Nock secretary wasn't drawn on any speculation but instead thanked the previous management team.

Morton added: "It was a mutual agreement between Peter and us.

"He was away for the Largs match but the team wasn't playing either. We've just had a bad run lately and it's put us under a bit of pressure.

"I'd like to thank Peter and his team for everything they've done and everything they've tried."

Cumnock are now calling on supporters to rally behind the team ahead of Saturday's big match. A club statement read: "Following last Sunday’s committee meeting, Cumnock Juniors FC has parted company with manager Peter Leonard by mutual agreement. The club wishes him and his coaching staff well for the future and thanks them for all their hard work since arriving at Townhead Park.

"Paul Burns has been appointed as player/manager with immediate effect. The Nock’s next game is at home in the league against local rivals Glenafton Athletic and a big turnout is hoped for to support Paul and the team."