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SAINTS BOSS PREMIERSHIP KO WARNING

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ST MIRREN boss Jim Goodwin admits there is a chance the Premiership season may not last all the way to its scheduled May conclusion.

The gaffer was speaking out after the Paisley club were rocked by the coronavirus pandemic for the THIRD time

The Saints had a pre-season game called off when seven members of the coaching staff failed Covid-19 tests – six were later discovered to be false positives.

Goodwin then had to arrange an emergency loan keeper – Bobby Zlamal from Hearts – after his three first-team netminders were forced to self-isolate.

Now, a day before their home game against Motherwell, two outfield players have tested positive and a third who has been in contact with them have all been quarantined.

Goodwin insisted the only way to guarantee that this season runs its course is to take a leaf out of the English Premier League’s book by insisting that each top-tier club lives in its own bubble.

The Irishman, speaking to Sky Sports News, said: “We’ve not had that conversation because, realistically, we just can’t do it. We can’t afford to do it, it’s as simple as that – I don’t think any club could and I include Rangers and Celtic in that, as well.

“No Scottish club could afford to take 40 members of staff to a hotel for the next six months, it wouldn’t be possible.

“I think we are all struggling enough as it is with the cost of these weekly tests and to add staying away from home for the next six or seven months to the equation, there’s no point even talking about it as it would never happen.

“Every club is doing, do the best we can where we train and in the stadium, everyone is sticking to the rules and we have protocols in place and as a club we’re very strict on that.

“But the fact of the matter is we cannot control what happens when the players or staff go home. That’s when the bubble bursts.

“Their wives, girlfriends, mums and dads are all out there working in normal jobs in hospitals, offices and we can’t control what happens to them.

“So, you’re in the lap of the gods every week and that’s the problem we’ve got.”

Goodwin added: “Testing on a Monday it’s a very anxious time for all the players – it’s not a pleasant experience, anyway, and anyone who has had the test done will tell you that.

“It’s quite nerve-wracking throughout the rest of the day because you’re just hoping and praying that nobody has caught the virus and every time my phone goes and the doctor’s name comes up I know something bad has happened.

“If it’s a text message, it’s all good, but if she calls me, then we’re in trouble.”

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Editor

Acclaimed author Alex Gordon wrote the biography of Scotland international legend Denis Law, entitled 'King and Country'. He is a former columnist with World Soccer magazine and Scottish correspondent of respected European journal L'Equipe.

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