Peterhead manager Jim McInally has sung the praises of his striker Rory McAllister and insists the in-form front-man is priceless to the Ladbrokes League 1 side.
McAllister has 17 goals from 29 appearances in all competitions so far and his four strikes in four games helped his manager claim the Ladbrokes Manager of the Month award for January.
McInally is loving every minute of working with McAllister and is relieved the 29-year-old striker turned down overtures from Ladbrokes Championship side Dundee United in the summer.
Speaking exclusively to Ladbrokes News, McInally said: “Rory’s priceless. Absolutely priceless. Dundee United came in for him earlier in the season, and it was a situation where we would’ve let him go knowing we probably couldn’t replace him. He is irreplaceable.
“I never forget how lucky we are to have Rory, to be honest. He’s unique in many ways, but I learned a few years ago now not to try and coach him. I just let him get on with it because he’s his own player. He’s a good boy and I really enjoy working for him. I do feel sorry for him sometimes, though.
“I feel he’s a victim. I think referees use his reputation from years ago against him, but he isn’t that player anymore.
“Opposition players constantly set out to wind him up and he never gets any protection. He got booked for diving last week and it was ridiculous. I just keep encouraging him to enjoy his game.
“We’ve got him for next season already and he seems happy at Peterhead and obviously if he wasn’t he’d have gone to Dundee United! It’s great just to have him.”
On winning his Manager of the Month Award, McInally insists credit has to go to his squad for coming through a tough run of fixtures after Christmas.
He added: “We had a good January. We had some big games and the players deserve credit for doing so well and coming through them, but it’s one of those leagues that’s so cut-throat that you can’t rest on your laurels. There’s every chance of getting relegated and there’s every chance you could be in the play-offs. It’s nice to get the award for the team, but I won’t get too far ahead of myself.
“Believe it or not, the game we lost at Livingston was a really good performance and we were unlucky not to take something from it.
“Winning at Alloa and putting in a terrific home performance against Queen’s Park made up for it. The players deserve great credit for the work and performances they put in. But we’re not out of the woods yet, we need to keep going.
“The first thing we have to do it make sure we’re not the team that gets relegated because somebody’s got to go. The standard in the league is pretty decent this year, in my opinion. “Whilst there’s still a chance to get into the play-offs, we’ll do our utmost to achieve that, but the biggest thing is to make sure you embrace the situation because if you look at the fixtures every week, there are opportunities to catch up.
“But, by the same token, if you’re not winning you’re in trouble. It’s exciting.”
The Balmoor side host Albion Rovers this weekend, and are priced at 10/11 favourites to claim all three points.
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