McInally ready to take blue toon to the next level

Jim McInally is satisfied with past season but hopes the players can kick on and achieve promotion
Jim McInally is satisfied with past season but hopes the players can kick on and achieve promotion

Peterhead boss Jim McInally has set his sights on promotion next season after his side missed out on the play-offs this time around.

After winning SPFL League Two in 2013-14, the The Blue Toon finished up in sixth spot in League One, eight points behind fourth-placed Brechin – and McInally is determined his team will come back for pre-season ready for a promotion push.

The gaffer is proud his team finished above big-hitters Dunfermline and Ayr United, but he admits the season was a bit of a mixed bag for the club.

He said: “With three full-time teams in the league we knew achieving the play-offs would be hard but we were not too far away from fourth position.

“In the back of your mind as a manager is the need to first of all consolidate your position then try to push on.

“After the first quarter we had, it was important not to get up in the fight at the bottom of the table and credit to the players we never looked like that would become an issue for us.

“The standard of the league is actually better than many people think and some clubs were happy to talk the standard down.

“But I think overall it is a difficult league to compete in and I’m happy with our performances in the second half of the campaign.

“With a bit more concentration at times and more favourable refereeing decisions I think we might have had a chance of the play-offs.”

With only one training session a week, McInally has done a terrific job of getting the best out of his players this season and is testament to his coaching ability and man-management skills.

Many teams just promoted see survival in a new league as their sole focus, but the Blue Toon boss challenged his side to expect better than that and his players responded well.

Now McInally, who hopes to keep the majority of his squad and add new faces during the summer, will ask them to take the next step and their goal next time will be to win a place in the Championship.

“If we can become a bit more disciplined and tighten up in defence then I see no reason why we can’t do even better next season,” said McInally.

“We now know what the division is all about and the challenges we will face next season.

“The players did well during this season but I want them to achieve more. We have nothing to fear and we hope we can get a second promotion in three seasons.”