Peterhead manager Jim McInally says lockdown has given him a renewed appetite for job.
Scotland’s longest-serving manager has spent over nine years in charge at the Blue Toon.
There have been points over the course of his tenure where McInally has considered leaving Balmoor.
The last time was in the summer of 2019, following the Buchan outfit’s promotion back to League One.
However, the former Scotland international midfielder decided to carry on last term.
Then, in March of last year with Covid-19 cases on the rise across the country, lockdown measures were announced and the 2019-20 ended up being called on a point-per-game basis.
McInally says the challenges thrown up as a result of the pandemic have reinvigorated him.
Among the challenges has been ensuring Peterhead survived the coronavirus crisis and then, with the 2020-21 campaign starting in October, assembling a squad on a reduced budget which could compete in League One.
“Although lockdown wasn’t a good thing for people, it was good for me and football because the summer before I felt as if I’d had enough pressure for the last couple of years.
“But I think that break reinvigorated us and gave us a cause to make sure the club survived.
“Then with a reduced budget we’ve had to try to put together a team and it’s been really good and I still feel strongly about it.
“I think we’ve put together a decent team and it has been a really good challenge doing that.”
Prior to the pandemic, nobody could have imagined the impact it would have on everyday life as well as football.
McInally says, as a result of everything that has happened over the last 12 months, he has tried to enjoy football more this season.
The Peterhead boss added: “Nobody foresaw what was going to happen and that there was going to be a world pandemic coming.
“What the last year has done is put things in perspective and put things in the right place.
“After everything that has happened, a game of football is a game of football.
“Although you enjoy winning and you despair when you lose, you put it in its proper place now that it’s just a game of football and I think that makes it easier to enjoy it.”
Having seen the hardship and suffering endured by many because of Covid-19, McInally says he also feels fortunate to be involved in football.
He is upbeat about the prospect of football below the Championship resuming soon, although he has been disappointed that Peterhead and other clubs have been unable to play in front of some supporters this season.
McInally said: “With everything that’s happened it’s made me appreciate my involvement in football.
“You look at what some people are going through and you realise how lucky you are to be healthy, have family around you and you’re lucky to have football to go to, even though there’s no fans there.
“My opinion on fans won’t change in that I don’t think we should have played this season without supporters, because I don’t see the point in playing without supporters at any level.”