Peterhead manager Jim McInally’s tenth anniversary of taking the reins at Balmoor is only days away however the Blue Toon boss was all about freshness after Saturday’s 5-0 home success of Dumbarton.
After a decade of games, where many have been influenced by the wind blowing across Balmoor, McInally instructed his side to play with a wind in a new and different way at half-time against the Sons and it worked impressively as their slender one goal advantage turned into a handsome win.
Jim explained: “Over the years there has been a fair amount of games where the wind has been a factor. During this time we have learned how to play against the wind quite successfully, however we have never been as good as we could be with the wind.”
“The various squads we have had over the years have tended to struggle against sides who would push up and invite us to get passes in behind them when we had the wind at our backs. We would try and resist that by paying through them however if that did not happen we would get frustrated, go long and passes would fly out the park or run to their goalkeeper.”
“Obviously we tried a few things but they have never quite worked as well as they did on Saturday.”
Jim explained: “Against Dumbarton we gave this squad the chance to do something different. It is a new squad and looking at their strengths the management team looked to do something new. Each squad is different and in this one there are a lot of very good footballers who can play fast and sharp passes.”
“They are quite young but keen to learn and we spent a lot of time at the break encouraging them to show that they could play good football despite the conditions. We told them to pass and pass the ball again. We told them not to get sucked into trying to play long passes and keep possession.”
“We pushed two players further up the park and our approach worked instantly with Andy McCarthy looping in a cross for Hamish Ritchie to score.”
“The third goal came from a defensive mistake however the fourth and fifth came from keeping the ball on the ground. It was good to see the players being rewarded for being so positive on the ball.”