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Peterhead boss Jim McInally hopes for clean bill of health for Cove Rangers derby fixture

Peterhead manager Jim McInally
Peterhead manager Jim McInally

Jim McInally hopes the Peterhead injury list will clear up for the north-east derby with Cove Rangers at the weekend.

For their last league game on December 22, the Blue Toon were without seven first-team players and had to bring off Grant Savoury after he felt a flare-up of an old knee issue.

But the 10 days respite in between games should give the Peterhead boss a greater pool of players to choose from.

Simon Ferry and Andy McCarthy are in line to come back and bolster the midfield, while skipper Scott Brown ought to be available again after missing the Montrose game.

Defenders David Wilson and Ryan Conroy could also be involved after sitting out the last few games.

It is welcome news to McInally, who has had to rely ever more on his younger players to get through a tricky period with availability.

He said: “Some of the injured boys will be back. Simon will certainly be back I would think and Andy McCarthy should be back.

Peterhead midfielder Andy McCarthy in action against Montrose
Peterhead midfielder Andy McCarthy in action against Montrose

“Hopefully Grant will be OK and Scott will be OK. We should certainly have more bodies available.”

Gary Fraser will be continuing his recovery from a knee injury after finally getting an operation on December 16.

Peterhead will be without suspended defender Josh Mulligan, who picked up his sixth booking of the season in the win over Dumbarton.

Sunday’s game will be Peterhead’s first game with reduced capacity at Balmoor and, given the opposition, it is one they would have anticipated a bumper crowd for.

McInally was on board with the decision to keep playing through the latest restrictions, but feels it is a blow for a derby game.

He added: “It’s not ideal for the Cove game because they might have got a thousand (crowd) for it, given the other games are off.”

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