St Mirren manager Jim Goodwin has said he will just have to “shuffle the pack” and keep working after the club’s latest coronavirus blow.
Two first team players have tested positive for coronavirus with a third player having to self-isolate after close contact with the affected pair.
It’s the third time that the club has been affected directly by the pandemic since football restarted, Seven members of staff tested positive in July before six were confirmed as false positives, and then the club lost all three goalkeepers to the virus and were forced to bring in an emergency loan.
This week’s absences for the match against Motherwell add to Goodwin’s headaches as he looks to reverse a run of disappointing results and he admitted that the ongoing situation made fe difficult.
“It is very frustrating and any manager out there will tell you that we’re all just desperate to get back to talking about football,” he said. “Every week it’s a different conversation with the doctor about a different person and it’s really hard to plan any great deal in front to be honest.
“We just work week to week as the rest of the teams do. You’re always nervous on a Monday when the tests are getting done and you’re hoping that you get a text message from the doctor to say that everything is fine but when I see her name coming up on my phone and she’s ringing me then I know it’s a problem.
“The boys are fine. They’re asymptomatic so not feeling under the weather or anything like that. They had the positive results to Monday’s tests and since then the guys have been in isolation.
“We have a small enough squad as it is and we just got a couple of lads back in after injury then lose another three. It’s one thing after another at the moment but we just need to deal with it.
“We are not naming the players right now but it will probably be obvious at the weekend. Two out of the three players are big players for us, they have made a difference in recent weeks.
“It’s going to be a blow to lose them but we will just have to shuffle the pack.
“It’s difficult but we know that every team is going to be affected at one point or another. We just have to get on with it and not allow it to affect us.”
THe latest cases at St Mirren come after Kilmarnock were forced to postpone one game and forfeit another after their own outbreak, while several SPFL players have been affected while on international duty.
Goodwin said that the impression of Premiership football having a protective “bubble” was an illusion.
“We have done absolutely everything we have been asked to do but these are cases that have been picked up outside our bubble,” he said.
“But this bubble doesn’t really exist, does it? Because everyone is going home to their partners or wives and everyone else.
“It’s all very good having the bubble around the training ground but the bubble bursts as soon as you leave.”