McInally calls competition in squad ‘healthy’

PETERHEAD V ALLOA'(DUNCAN BROWN)''PETERHEAD' MANAGER JIM McINALLY  INSTRUCTS HIS PLAYERS
PETERHEAD V ALLOA'(DUNCAN BROWN)''PETERHEAD' MANAGER JIM McINALLY INSTRUCTS HIS PLAYERS

Peterhead FC manager Jim McInally has said the size of his squad and the competition for places it creates can only benefit the team.

Summer signings have swelled the ranks at Balmoor and McInally now believes he has 18 players capable of starting a League 2 match.

McInally said: “The way I see it, I don’t think it’s a big squad.

“I think we’ve got 18 first team players and they can be available this weekend.

“It’s certainly been healthy for us this season.”

The strength in depth showed as the Toon trounced East Stirling 4-1 even though regular starters Bryan Gilfillan and Dean Cowie were both unavailable due to work commitments. Full back Graeme Sharp was also unavailable.

“Our predicament is that alot of our guys have jobs which could need them at any time so we need the right number.

“Those 18 players, most of them could come in and play.”

“Personel comes into how you play. We have got a team that can change but I think it’s nice when you can get into a system where everybody’s comfortable.

“The team we played at East Stirling were really comfortable and we were more solid as a team defensively.”

A busier dressing room can however give a manager headaches - last season club captain Scott McLaughlin lost his place in the starting eleven and it created tension in the dressing room.

The man who took the armband from McLaughlin, full back Steven Noble, shares his manager’s belief that the current squad is in good health.

Noble said: “New signings keep people on their toes, myself being one of them. For most of last season I was the only left sided defender in the team and now this year there are probably three of us that can push for that position.

“It’s the way we’d rather have it. Some people can take their foot off the gas because they know they’re going to play every week. Compeition helps.

“The good thing is, and the manager said it as well, that we’ve got players he would have no worries about putitng straight into the first team.

“Having those players means you have to prove yourself week in and week out.”