Peterhead manager Jim McInally has revealed the Blue Toon faithful can expect big things from Paul Cairney in the second half of the season.
Attacking midfielder Cairney was one of McInally’s marquee signings during the summer as he overhauled his squad for a tilt at the League Two title.
While other signings like Willie Gibson, Greg Fleming, Jason Brown, Mason Robertson and David McCracken have become regulars for the Buchan outfit, Cairney has endured a frustrating start to his time at Balmoor.
An ankle injury and fitness issues have restricted the 30-year-old to just nine appearances and six starts for the Blue Toon.
But with that now behind him McInally says that the Peterhead support can expect big things from the former Hibernian, Partick Thistle and Kilmarnock player during the second half of the campaign.
He said: “He has got a part to play that is for sure.
“He just needs to be ready because we could have another bout of injuries and suspensions so we’re trying to get him up to speed.
“Paul is a brilliant alternative for us once he is at it.
“He is working hard to get himself in good shape – so hopefully we reap the benefits of that.”
The Aberdeenshire team gave Cairney a personal fitness plan to follow as he recoverd from an ankle injury which has seen him get back into shape.
McInally added: “He was given a personal training plan and our fitness coach Stuart Hogg gives him stuff to do as well.
“He is well aware of what he needs to do, but he could be doing with games. There’s no doubt it’s taken him longer than he thought to get back to full fitness.”
Something Cairney requires now is game time.
But with the Blue Toon, who saw their game at home to Clyde on Saturday postponed due to snow, winning seven out of their last eight games to take them to the top of League Two before kick-off on Saturday, McInally has been reluctant to make too many changes to his team.
He said: “Obviously with us winning games, we haven’t been changing the team too much.
“So it’s been difficult, he could probably be doing with games.
“But it’s not easy at this time of year trying to get him games but he’s fit again which is the main thing.
“There is plenty of competition in his positions but I suppose that’s a good thing to have and a good complaint to have.”