Pressure is key

NEW PETERHEAD MANAGER JIM McINALLY .(DUNCAN BROWN)
NEW PETERHEAD MANAGER JIM McINALLY .(DUNCAN BROWN)

Peterhead continue to make good progress as the football season comes to a close, winning away from home to Stranraer. The result means that Peterhead are now just six points from the play-off positions.

Rory McAllister showed just why full-time clubs were in for him at the start of the season, the young striker scoring in either half of the game, the former Scotland youth international bringing his season tally to 22 - the highest in the Third Division.

With such rich vein form from the 24-year-old, the Blue Toon would do well to ward off any further interest in one of their most prized assets.

Still very much a part of manager Jim McInally’s plans, the boss has allayed fears, however, that McAllister is still happy in the North East.

“You know you’re always going to be a danger when you’ve got Rory and [Martin Bavidge] up front,” said McInally in praise of his strikers.

McInally went on to say that he was always confident in his side’s ability to get goals, having solved their early season defensive deficiency.

The complete package, the Blue Toon are still outsiders to earn a play-off spot, but McInally is hopeful that his side can put pressure on 50-point Elgin before the season is out.

Responding to the suggestion that his side would be taking the remaining games as cup finals, McInally said: “It’s only three cup finals if Elgin don’t win.

“Last week we were 1000-to-1 to finish in the play-offs and now we’re 100-to-1. We’re still outsiders, but we’ve got to put pressure on [Elgin] by winning at Clyde.

“We’ve made it interesting,” he added.

Looking at the form table, had the Blue Toon started the season as they have 2012, it would be hard to deny them their right to play football at a higher level.

The excitement that the Blue Toon has been through this season is usually best reserved for the cinema screen, but a win over Clyde could just be the stuff that dreams are made of.

“There’s an old saying in football, that whatever points you get at the start of the season are worth double at the end.

“It’s a bizarre situation for me, because if the team had been playing better at the start then I wouldn’t be here - and I love being here,” McInally said.

With the season coming to a close, however, failure to break out of the Third Division may not be enough for some of the players who are out of contract, a situation McInally said will show him who really wants to be playing football.

“We have five players already signed on for next season, and most of them will be offered new deals. It’s really up to them whether they accept the new terms.

“From my point of view, it will let em see the players that want to play and that have a bit of ambition to be playing at the highest level,” the manager stated.