Evening Express

Peterhead boss McInally proud to reach 300-game mark

Peterhead manager Jim McInally

Jim McInally will take charge of Peterhead for the 300th time tonight – and he would love to mark the occasion with a win and then go on to reach 400.

The Blue Toon face Brechin City at Balmoor this evening in the Irn-Bru Challenge Cup first round.

It’s a landmark game for McInally, who is Scotland’s longest-serving manager after becoming boss of the Buchan outfit in October 2011.

During that time he has led Peterhead to the League Two title in 2014 and the Challenge Cup final in 2016.

McInally has stayed with the club after relegation in 2017 and then failure to gain promotion last season.

He admits some people may have expected him to leave the Blue Toon, but McInally has his sights set on promotion this season and hitting the 400-game mark in the future.

He said: “When I was told this was my 300th game I was surprised.

“It’s a nice statistic because the club means a lot to me and it’s a lot of games to be associated with one football club, which is unusual in this day and age.

“It’s nice and a good landmark for me – I’m pretty sure a lot of supporters will be wishing it wasn’t 300 – but I’ll be going out of my way to make it 400.

“I’m delighted that I’ve been at the club so long. I love being at the club and hopefully I can be here a lot longer.”

McInally will make changes from Saturday’s 4-0 win against Albion Rovers, with striker Derek Lyle and Simon Ferry expected to be rested.

League One side Brechin are buoyed by their first league win in 470 days, which they achieved in Saturday’s 1-0 victory over East Fife.

McInally and the Blue Toon players have a good record in this tournament and he added: “We’ve got good memories of this cup, with getting to the final, and even last season was good for us.

“We beat East Fife and Annan and went to Inverness and played well when going out.

“We want to get into a habit of trying to win.

“But we know we’re playing a team from a league above us and we know it will be hard but we’ll give it our best to win the game.

“I’m sure that they will have the pressure off them after winning on Saturday.

“They’ll be like us a bit, as they’ll want to make a few changes but haven’t got the biggest of squads.

“It’s a cup that is much-maligned – especially by me – but I would still want to win because it will help confidence.

“And we could do with the game in the next round because you end up with a free weekend if you don’t get through.”