Peterhead boss McInally reveals he is happy to let his players let their hair down in bid to earn silverware

Peterhead manager Jim McInally.

Peterhead manager Jim McInally believes allowing his players a few nights out has been one of the key ingredients in their League Two title challenge.

The Blue Toon are top of the table on goal difference ahead of Montrose with nine games left this term.

Boss McInally has encouraged his squad to go out together this season and believes it has helped their title push because it has helped create a great team spirit.

Some may think it would be hard to build team spirit when half of McInally’s squad is based in the North-east and the other half in the Central Belt.

But the Balmoor gaffer said: “I think at the start of the season they got together as a group and socialised. Then at Christmas they got together and had a great time away in Dublin.

“They’ve spent a lot of time together socially which helps and our Wednesday night training sessions at Forfar are really enjoyable.

“One of the club directors Harry Fraser comes down and makes them something to eat and that half hour when we are sitting eating, it can be a ruthless half hour as far as banter goes – but it’s priceless.​

“It was something that the players let themselves down with last season.

“I don’t know if it was because they’d been together for so long but they got complacent and at Christmas they didn’t have a get together.

“And then we brought in loan players and the new players become strangers in the dressing room. I felt that was glaringly obvious that when we had meetings when things weren’t going well you could see the younger boys who were in on-loan didn’t really know the other players.

“And you’re asking them to fight a cause but they’re not all together.

“I felt this year it was important. After we played Fraserburgh in pre-season we were playing Dundee United the next day and we had a night out the day before the game.

“Then we went and beat Dundee United which was good.

“We consciously made an effort this year to put that right.”