Jim McInally hoping Peterhead can learn from Betfred defeat at Raith Rovers

Peterhead lost out to Raith on their last visit in July (pic: George McLuckie).
Peterhead lost out to Raith on their last visit in July (pic: George McLuckie).

It’s back to business for Peterhead after last week’s break with a tough trip to face League One title chasers Raith Rovers.

It’s the Blue Toon’s second visit of the season to Starks Park - with boss Jim McInally hoping they can learn from their 3-1 Betfred Cup defeat there in July.

He admitted: “When we played them in the Betfred and we were well beaten, to be honest.

“It was a wee bit of a game too far for us at that time, it was our third game in seven days against a full-time team. We’d had to work really hard against Inverness and Dundee and then we went to Raith who hadn’t won a game so there was a wee bit of pressure on them.

“They were well fired up and they beat us well, but I did feel as if we were a wee bit over the top at the time so I’m hoping that we can improve on our performance this Saturday.

“You try and learn lessons. We’ve played them before and we know what to expect so we need to try and learn from it.”

Peterhead will be without talisman Rory McAllister who is suspended following his red card at Stranraer.

“McAllister’s big miss for us,” said McInally. “He’s played really well for us in the last two games and has looked more like himself. But the last time we went there we didn’t have him then either so we just get on with it.

“We’ve got a good squad of players now and everybody’s getting fitter.”

Although Peterhead had no game last weekend, due to their elimination from the Challenge Cup, McAllister and some of his team-mates did see action in a closed doors bounce game with Brechin City at Forfar - a useful exercise, according to the Blue Toon boss.

He said: “It was really good. The guys that hadn’t been playing all got some game time. Rory’s suspended next week so he was able to play for 70 minutes so he’s not too long out of it.

“David Ferguson got 90 minutes, Jamie Stevenson got 45, Ryan Conroy, Gary Fraser and Ben Armour got 90 minutes so it was a good workout.

“It was also a game with a wee bit more meaning to it because Brechin had a new manager so they were all trying to impress.”

With a haul of eight points from their opening five games McInally is happy with the start his side have made - with one exception.

He said: “It’s been good so far, but the disappointing thing is that we were two up in the game against Dumbarton and just knowing that if we’d held on in that game we’d be top.

“But even after watching Montrose on Saturday I know that’s it’s going to be a real tough season and every game it’s not going to be easy to win.

“So it’s pleasing that we’ve won a couple on the bounce but we go to Kirkcaldy next week and in every game the points are going to be hard to get.

“We’ve had a decent start but it’s going to be a long, hard season so we just need to keep it up.”