Peterhead boss Jim McInally reckons Rory McAllister is delivering his best performances in years despite his goal-less run.
McAllister, the Blue Toon captain, has not scored since the Betfred Cup opener against Cove Rangers in July but McInally has been impressed with his contribution to the side.
The former Caley Thistle and Brechin City striker has been one of the SPFL’s most prolific marksmen, hitting 191 goals in 325 games since signing for Peterhead in 2011.
He admitted last month that he is not the same striker that could get 30 goals a season and that he has had to adapt his game.
The influence of Derek Lyle, McInally believes, can be seen in the way McAllister now keeps possession of the ball better.
A troublesome ankle problem has hampered him throughout the season, too, which at some point may require surgery.
However, the Peterhead manager is happy with what McAllister has produced.
McInally said: “It gets him down but it’s not what we judge him on.
“He’s played miles better than he’s played in a lot of years, in the way he brings other people into the game.
“I would think at some point he’d need to get his ankle seen to but it’s OK just now. When he gets that sorted he’ll feel miles better again.
“Derek has had a good influence on him, in that he sees the importance of retaining possession.
“It’s a massive part of a striker’s game and if he had taken it into his game 10 or 12 years ago, he would have earned a lot of money in this game.
“The best thing to happen to him would be to score, as I know his mentality.
“We’re pleased with what we’re getting from him but I know he isn’t, which is the important thing.”
The Balmoor outfit travel to Clyde, with whom they drew 1-1 in Peterhead in September.
McInally added: “David Goodwillie is key to them. If you keep him quiet, you’ve got a chance with the rest of them.
“Clyde sum the league up. They go to Falkirk and win well and then go and lose 3-0 to Stranraer.
“It’s the strength of the league and we need to back up last week’s result, because it’s going to be ruthless.”