Nacho Novo and Mark McLaughlin are released by Morton

Morton have released Nacho Novo and Mark McLaughlin with immediate effect.

The former Rangers striker Novo's short-term deal was due to expire in January, while club captain McLaughlin was under contract until May 2014.

Manager Kenny Shiels said: "As a club we are trying to move forward and l greatly appreciate the effort these players have put in to date and wish them every success in the future."

The Greenock side are six points adrift at the bottom of the Championship.

Former Morton captain Mark McLaughlin

It's disappointing not to get a chance under the new manager, but l wish the club and players all the success going forward

Mark McLaughlin Former Morton captain

Shiels, who previously managed Scottish Premiership side Kilmarnock, was appointed as Allan Moore's successor earlier this month.

The Northern Irishman's first match in charge was the 2-0 defeat to Falkirk at Cappielow on Saturday.

McLaughlin, 38, signed for Morton in 2012 after his contract with Hamilton Accies had expired.

"It's disappointing not to get a chance under the new manager, but l wish the club and players all the success going forward in the Championship," said the defender.

"l would personally like to thank everyone at the club for their support over the past year-and-a half, along with the fans who have been fantastic."

Spaniard Novo, who netted 71 times for Rangers between 2004 and 2010, scored one goal in 10 appearances for Morton.

Morton's next match is away to Hamilton on Saturday.