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St Mirren boss Jim Goodwin expects more coronavirus scares in Scottish football

Jim Goodwin File Photo
(Image credit: Ian Rutherford)

Jim Goodwin fears St Mirren will not be the last club forced to shut down because of a coronavirus scare.

The Buddies boss has confirmed he was among the seven members of Saints’ back-room staff to test positive for the virus last week.

However, the Irishman was soon given the all clear when it was found that six of the seven tests carried out by a private laboratory had been flagged in error following a re-examination by NHS experts.

The mix-up still proved to be costly for St Mirren, though, with Goodwin’s squad stood down for four days – and a friendly clash with St Johnstone axed – just as they were ramping up their preparations for Saturday’s Scottish Premiership curtain-raiser with Livingston.

Goodwin is just relieved that his club did not prove to be the launchpad for a “disastrous” second surge across Scotland.

But he fully expects to see other clubs go through similar dramas as Scottish football battles to stay clear of the pandemic’s clutches.

Goodwin said: “I was one of those to initially test positive. It’s not ideal. First and foremost you’re concerned about your family.

“Then of course I’m concerned about your colleagues. You think the worst. If seven of us had got it, it would have been a disaster – not just for our club but for Scottish football as a whole.

“The numbers (of cases) seem to be coming down across Scotland and we would hate to be that company that makes the numbers rise.

“Thankfully it’s all sorted itself out. We got retested because it was too much of a coincidence. It was the first seven tests done that day and we were all feeling all right, there was no symptoms, no-one was feeling under the weather.

“It was unlucky for one but thankfully half a dozen of us have been able to get back to work. You see the way the clubs in England and even over in the MLS and how they handle it.

“They have got the resources and the finances to take all the players and hire out a whole hotel on their own, knowing they won’t be coming into contact with any outside source.

“Unfortunately the situation we’re at, is that we all have to go home at the end of the day. Some of our partners are working and we’re looking at the kids going back to school in August.

“We can do as much as we can here in terms of testing but we can’t always help who we come into contact with on the outside and that’s the risk.

“I think that kind of situation is going to occur regularly, where sometimes the samples aren’t quite as accurate as they should be or the swabs are contaminated.

“Unfortunately that’s just going to be the way it is and we’re going to have to deal with it.”

Goodwin’s team were able to pick up their pre-season routine earlier this week but the manager insists he will not be using the missed sessions as an excuse if they slip up when Gary Holt’s Livi visit Paisley.

He said: “Of course it hasn’t been ideal. We had to shut the place down until we got the results we needed. But we’re not going to let it affect us as a group or a club.

“We can’t have any excuses. We missed out on four valuable days but the players were able to do fitness programmes which kept the players ticking over and we’re in a good place going into the weekend.”