Peterhead boss Jim McInally: top half finish was always a long shot
Peterhead boss Jim McInally admitted this week that a place in the top half of League 1 for the end-of-season split was always going to be a tall order.
The Blue Toon’s 2-1 defeat at East Fife on Saturday confirmed that the Balmoor side will be in the bottom half of the table – and means they will focus on staying up rather than forcing their way into the promotion play-offs.
Nevertheless McInally is confident his side can negotiate their closing fixtures safely.
Following Saturday’s loss he said: “We always knew it was a long shot but I'm quite happy with what we've got.
"We know what we're up against now so we just embrace it and take it on because you saw from the first half hour how good we can be
"It was a decent game. I just felt as though we conceded too many corners and free-kicks and physically we're not the biggest.
"You can see how young our back four and our goalie is and we paid the price eventually.
"The irony is that it's a substitute's man that's scored.
"Josh [Rae] has had two brilliant saves from free-kicks and I just felt that it wasn't open play that was our worry, it was set plays.”
However the Peterhead was less impressed with the performance of referee Lloyd Wilson who sent off a player from each side and booked four others.
McInally said: “There were a lot of good players on the park today and I thought it was a good game with two teams who like to play, but it was nearly spoiled.
"He'll have better days I'm sure.”
Peterhead will go into their closing games without on-loan Dundee youngster Josh Mulligan who won’t be returning to Balmoor.
Having returned to Dens and undergone surgery after aggravating an ankle injury on his Blue Toon debut in October, Mulligan has now been ruled out for the rest of the season with a thigh problem.
McInally said: “It is disappointing news as despite only having a handful of games left they are being played in a really short period so the more bodies that we have the better.
"It is also a shame for Josh as he has missed out on a full season and it would have been great to give him the experience that his Dundee team-mate Lyall Cameron got here before he was recalled.”