Manager looking for some clarity in bizarre league set in unique season
Peterhead entertain Partick Thistle at Balmoor this afternoon and a win for the Blue Toon would take them above the Maryhill side however very little further clarity over where either club’s season is heading will be known.
Jim McInally’s side sit closer in points to leaders Falkirk than they do to bottom placed Forfar however such is the congested nature of the table Peterhead sit seventh, one point and two spaces, behind their visitors.
A win for either side could be the springboard for promotion whereas a defeat would start nervous glances over shoulders towards competing to stay in League 1 once the split arrives.
Jim said: “It is a bizarre league this season but that is due to the reduced number of games. Usually leagues are tight for the first two rounds of fixtures and then they short themselves out however this season the first two rounds of fixtures is the league.”
“We can go anywhere from top four to third bottom and that is pretty unique with three games to go. It is a case of trying to win and then seeing where we are.”
A win was snatched out of Peterhead hands’ on Tuesday night at Forfar when the Loons scored a late, late goal however Jim is not predicting a hangover as he explained: “That was really unfortunate as we had the chance to make it two nil a few minutes before from the penalty spot. However we will take heart from the way we played which at times was the best we have done this season.”
“We created loads of chances and that was very pleasing. Thistle had the opposite end to their midweek game than us as they scored a late equaliser at East Fife so we cannot feel sorry for ourselves whilst they have a spring in their step.”
Jim added: “We won the first meeting with a great performance that secured a 1-0 win at Firhill. I would say that was our joint best result of the season as we also beat Dundee United at Tannadice so we know that we can compete with full-time sides. My only disappointment is that Andrew McCarthy is suspended as he has been in great form for us and he wanted to face his former club.”
“Who knows maybe he will do that in the top half split later this season.”
Peterhead Team News
Former Jag Andrew McCarthy is suspended when Peterhead host Partick Thistle with the Blue Toon also missing Gary Fraser and Alan Cook with knee injuries.
Partick Thistle Team News
Thistle manager Ian McCall will be without goalkeeper Kieran Wright, Chris Erskine and long-term absentee Tam O’Ware but welcomes back Blair Lyons after illness.
You can watch the game here – STREAMING | Peterhead FC
A reminder of Peterhead Chairman Rodger Morrison’s message to Partick Thistle at the start of the season –
Peterhead chairman Rodger Morrison is looking forward to welcoming Partick Thistle to Balmoor next season on League 1 duty however he still believes that Ian McCall’s side should be playing Championship football instead.
An SFA Arbitration Panel dismissed the legal challenge from Hearts and Partick Thistle over their relegation, along with Stranraer’s, on a points per game basis on Monday.
Morrison remains steadfast in his opinion that a new structure should have been brought in to avoid any club being ‘punished’ due to the impact of the Coronavirus as he explained: “Partick Thistle are a fine football club and on the football field I am looking forward to renewing our rivalry with them. Ian is a high-profile manager who knows his way around this league however I still believe that they should not be in League 1.”
“I said last month that we supported a new 14-10-10-10 approach as no club should be punished by the season ending due to the pandemic. Nothing that has happened since then has changed my mind.”
“In my opinion it was not fair to inflict greater pain on some clubs at a time when everyone was hurting. Not enough people felt the same and the relegations have been implemented.”
Morrison added: “I feel for the Directors, management and staff of Partick Thistle, and their supporters, and whilst they should not be coming to Balmoor we will make them very welcome – off the pitch that is!”