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Peterhead feeling fine ahead of Betfred Cup opener after big victory in Dundee

Jim McInally.
Jim McInally.

Peterhead manager Jim McInally believes his side are well-prepared for the new season.

The Blue Toon concluded their pre-season build-up by thrashing Junior side Dundee North End on Saturday.

A brace from summer signing Isaac Layne and counters from Andrew McCarthy, Gary Fraser, Alan Cook and trialist Lewis Crosbie won the friendly for the Buchan side.

Peterhead return to Tayside this weekend to start their season with a League Cup Group C clash against Premiership side Dundee United.

McInally is happy with his squad’s make-up and believes they are ready for the challenges ahead.

He said: “In the circumstances we’ve played more games (six) in pre-season than we would normally, but it’s been good.

“The players are in good nick, we haven’t got a big squad, but we’ll add to that.

“We should be fine as long as we don’t run into too many injuries, but we haven’t in pre-season so hopefully that continues.

“Derek Lyle got some more minutes on Saturday and we’ve got some decent options up top.

“I was able to take Isaac Layne and Ben Armour off at half-time on Saturday and put on Derek and Alan Cook.

Striker Derek Lyle has been building up in terms of minutes for Peterhead.

“Then there’s Steven Boyd, who was really sharp again, so we have got good options there and in midfield as well.

“Kieran Freeman has come in at right-back and done well already and Ryan Conroy hasn’t missed a minute at left-back.

“And with Jason Brown, Kyle Bailey and Gary MacKenzie as centre-back options, we’ve got good quality there as well.

“But the real ball is coming out this week so we need to be ready.”

McInally still wants to add to his squad and it’s understood a loan deal for Dundee midfielder Josh Mulligan is close to completion.

Bringing in another goalkeeper to compete with Lenny Wilson is also something he wants to do. Ex-Celtic and Leeds youth keeper Josh Rae played as a trialist on Saturday and may be an option.

McInally is also to hold talks with former Broughty Athletic winger Derryn Kesson, who has been with the Blue Toon throughout pre-season.

Reflecting on Saturday’s friendly, Scotland’s longest-serving manager added: “It was such a different workout from Tuesday night against Dundee because we were having a lot of the ball and it’s good to have such contrasting games.

“Not having much of the ball against Dundee and then having more of it on Saturday, it still makes you work just as hard.

“The pitch was fantastic… it was a really worthwhile exercise and there were a number of impressive performances.”

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