Starting XI will be strong with a chance for players to step out of the shadows
Peterhead manager Jim McInally is not letting anyone feel sorry themselves despite the Blue Toon going into their game with visitors Cove Rangers five players down.
Gary Mackenzie and Simon Ferry picked up injuries at Airdrie last weekend to join Ben Armour and Josh Mulligan on the injured list and Gary Fraser remains absent as he continues to self-isolate.
The number of absences could rise to six if Isaac Layne fails to shake off a knock however McInally is not looking for pity as he explained: “We may well go down to 13 players with two of them being goalkeepers however our starting eleven will be strong. Gary did well at Airdrie last weekend before suffering a head-knock however he did not play against Dundee United the week before and we can field most of the defence that played well that day.”
“Kieran Freeman did not play at Tannadice, as he is a Dundee United player, and whilst we have used him in midfield, his natural position is at right back so he could slip in there.”
“Simon will be a miss however we have boys like Steven Boyd and Andrew McCarthy who need to be seen outside of Simon’s shadow. This is an opportunity for them to do that against a good side who won a lot of games last season and got their League 1 campaign up and running with a win over East Fife.”
“Anyone who saw the game at Airdrie last weekend will have seen how sprightly Derek Lyle still is. No-one can tell me that having Derek playing is not a danger to the opposing team. Lyall Cameron and Derryn Kesson added a wee touch of craft when they came on as well so we can look to take the game to Cove.”
Jim added: “It is unfortunate that we do not have a big pool to pick from. Cramming so many games into a short period of time after seven months out will have an impact on every team at some stage of the season.”
“We are having our shot just now but I am not for accepting that we are fielding an under-strength side.”
Jim recons that the current way football is being watched means that it will be an overly sentimental return for Rory McAllister and others to Balmoor wearing the colours of Cove Rangers.
McAllister joined the Aberdeen side in January after nearly 9 years and nearly 200 goals for McInally’s side with the Peterhead boss saying: “Rory will always be well-remembered here as will all the other boys that contributed positively for Peterhead before going on to play for Cove. However, the lack of a crowd takes away a lot from Rory’s return and the return of the other boys as well. In fact, it makes it much the same as every other game we will play here.”
“A few people suggested to me that I must have felt great taking Peterhead to Dundee United recently as I had spent so long there as a player. Without the interaction of fans, it was a pretty low-key affair.”
“I am sure our fans will be disappointed at not seeing a few familiar faces as well.”
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