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Peterhead: Jim McInally keen for Rico Quitongo to provide competition in defence

Peterhead boss Jim McInally.
Peterhead boss Jim McInally

Peterhead boss Jim McInally feels Rico Quitongo will provide some welcome competition to the defence after his signing from Airdrieonians.

Quitongo signed a short-term deal on Monday and McInally is pleased with the options he gives the Blue Toon down the left.

The former Hamilton Accies player asked to be released by the Diamonds last week, following the fall-out from an investigation into alleged racial abuse from an Airdrieonians’ fan at a game in September.

He trained with Peterhead last week and took in their Scottish Cup tie with East Kilbride on Saturday, ahead of signing until the end of the season.

Rico Quitongo, right, in action against Cove Rangers

Dundee United loanee Flynn Duffy has been the de facto choice at left-back after Ryan Conroy’s injury but McInally believes Quitongo can come and provide good depth.

He said: “We were looking to bring a couple of full-backs in and a few of the boys are friendly with Rico.

“It was a wee bit of a complicated situation but once he overcame that and got himself released, it was just a case of getting him up.

“The first thing he brings is the quality of being a good one-on-one defender. He’s quick going forward and really energetic.

“Flynn won’t be moved easily from that position as he’s established himself a wee bit. But Rico can also play one further forward, to give us more balance down that side.

“We’re going to have quite a lot of games – we’ll have two midweek games coming up in March – so we’re going to need bodies.”

Josh Mulligan during his time at Peterhead
Josh Mulligan during his time at Peterhead

McInally is also on the look-out for a right-back to replace Josh Mulligan, who returned to parent club Dundee last week.

Centre-back David Wilson deputised at right wing-back on Saturday and had a hand in Russell McLean’s goal but McInally hopes to have a more permanent solution in the coming days.

There is also the chance of a midfielder arriving before the end of the month.

Peterhead may well have an early reunion with Mulligan next month, after drawing Dundee at Balmoor in the last 16 of the cup.

McInally feels it is a tie they can look forward to as Premiership opponents head to the north-east.

He added: “In these games there can be a few factors at play. It could be a windy day in Peterhead, which can be a shock to the system, and if we play well we could run them close.

“The other side is they could turn us over and show their quality. But if you want to have a chance against  Premiership team, you need to play them at home.

“It’s a chance – I’m not sure how big a chance – but we’ll need to play well.”

Captain Scott Brown was an unused substitute at the weekend after aggravating a calf injury in training during the week.

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