Peterhead FC: McInally has X factor, says chairman

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

Cream will always rise to the top and, despite an indifferent start to the season, Peterhead have risen to the head of the League Two table with a five point lead.

The club made an indifferent start to the campaign and the headlines were dominated not by on field success but by injuries, cup failures and a behind-the-scenes disciplinary incident with Rory McAllister.

PETERHEAD FC CHAIRMAN RODGER MORRISON IS DELIGHTED WITH THE HOME DRAW AGAINST CELTIC. (BUCHAN/BROWN)

PETERHEAD FC CHAIRMAN RODGER MORRISON IS DELIGHTED WITH THE HOME DRAW AGAINST CELTIC. (BUCHAN/BROWN)

But then Jim 
McInally’s side hit form and took 10 points from a possible 12 in December.

Chairman Rodger Morrison has spoken to the Buchanie of his quiet confidence, belief in McInally and ambitions for the club.

He said: “We’re obviously pleased to be where we are at the moment.

“It’s been a tight league so far and we’ve not had the season we wanted.

All the news from inside Balmoor.

All the news from inside Balmoor.

“We can put that down to a lot of injuries, especially to some of the experienced boys at the back.

“But when we appointed Jim, he was the manager we wanted to take us up and I think he will take us where we want to go.

“It’s alright having everything right off the field and having the finances in place but there is always a magical X factor you need when it comes to managers.

“We are 100 percent behind Jim.”

The appointment of former Greenock Morton and East Stirlingshire boss Jim McInally in 2011 was a signal of intent from the Blue Toon board.

Morrison and his colleagues believed McInally could replicate the success that saw him claim the old Second Division title in 2007 with Morton.

But after finishing one place outside the playoffs with Peterhead in 2012, McInally’s first full season at the club was tipped upside down with the arrival of Rangers.

Peterhead finished second to the Glasgow giants, and remain the last team to beat Rangers in a Scottish league match.

Morrison said: “Not to be derogatory to the other clubs, but we would have been top last year had it not been for Rangers.

“We’ve budgeted for promotion again, like we did last season.

“Alright we missed out with the Rangers scenario but I think there’d be a real sense of disappointment if we don’t go up this year.

“We’ve budgeted for it, we’ve got strength in depth and our hopes are on going up.”

But players and manager alike have learnt from the experience of last year.

Captain Steven Noble, who has trumpeted his team’s credentials louder than anybody, said: “Last season everyone’s mentality was ‘Rangers are going to win the league, we’ll fight it out for the rest.

“Now we have the chance to pull away and leave the other teams with that mentality again.

“That’s what I would like to do and that’s what I think we can do - put pressure on them.”

Though small, the Peterhead squad is undoubtedly one of the strongest in the division, boasting several players worthy of starting places in higher tiers of Scottish football.

Morrision and the other board members are shrewd businessmen and know that to achieve success they need to employ the best.

That begins with McInally and his backroom staff, and continues into the dressing room with a squad who enjoy some of the highest wages in League Two.

Morrison said: “The way finances went in Scottish football is that there aren’t a lot of full time contracts flying about and the ones that are don’t have wages of a huge magnitude to really excte any player with a future.

“I think there’s been a closing of the gap between the new League Two, 
League One and the Championship.

“A lot of players are now playing their trade in our division and although it will be tough, going into League One wouldn’t scare me.”