St Mirren manager Jim Goodwin is confident his squad has the depth and adaptability to cope with the loss of another central defender.
A day after Conor McCarthy was told he needed surgery to cure ankle ligament damage, Joe Shaughnessy was sent off deep into added time during a 2-0 defeat by Hearts.
The Irish pair have been at the heart of St Mirren’s defence for the past 18 months but Charles Dunne kept McCarthy out at the start of the season before getting injured, and Marcus Fraser has been performing well in a back three in recent months.
Goodwin has the option of moving to a back four against Ross County on Wednesday or moving the likes of Richard Tait into a back three.
“I thought we coped relatively well with the loss of Conor McCarthy against Hearts,” Goodwin said.
“Charles Dunne came on against Livingston and was excellent, and I thought he was brilliant again at the weekend for large spells of the game.
“So that shows you the strength in depth of the squad and I am very fortunate to have such good options coming off the bench.
“Obviously Joe’s sending-off is a sore one to take but we just have to learn to cope with it. I have plenty of options in the team and if we need to shuffle the pack a little bit then that’s what we will do.
“I would say it’s probably the strongest squad the club have had for a long, long time and I am fortunate to be in that position as a manager.
“We are at the time of the year when bookings start to add up and you get one or two injuries, and you have got to be in a position as a club to cope with that.
“Thankfully we are in a very good position. I have a number of players who can play two or three different positions as well, which is always a big part of my recruitment.
“To have players that can play full-back or central defensive roles if needed is a huge plus, especially at this moment in time with Joe and Conor out.”