18 Oct Mark O’Hara admits Motherwell’s lack of match practice is becoming a concern
Motherwell midfielder Mark O’Hara admits his side’s lack of match practice is becoming a concern following their latest last-minute call-off.
Well’s trip to Paisley was postponed at 12.30pm on Saturday after a further Covid-19 case in the St Mirren squad saw the Buddies pull out.
Saints had suffered two positive cases and a further self-isolation during the week before the added case prompted instructions for more players to separate themselves from the rest of society.
The Scottish Professional Football League is investigating the circumstances that led to Jim Goodwin being left with only eight outfield players and four goalkeepers at his disposal.
It was a second game in succession that Motherwell had postponed at short notice after Kilmarnock’s entire first-team squad were ordered to self-isolate earlier this month.
With Stephen Robinson’s side not involved in the Betfred Cup group stage, they have not played since losing to Rangers on September 27, in what was their fourth game in 10 days.
They have gone from having a hectic schedule to a barren one and have to wait for the SPFL to conclude their probes into Killie and Saints before learning whether those games will eventually be replayed.
Now they will prepare to host Ross County on Saturday hoping that no more ill fate awaits them.
O’Hara told Motherwell’s Twitter account: “We just had a pre-match meal and were ready to get on the bus.
“It’s so frustrating, we spent the whole week preparing for the game and to get to such a late stage and not get the game was very disappointing.
“We have put a lot of work in and that’s twice that’s happened to us now.
“Everything feels a bit flat now, we are coming in to train when we were hoping to get three points and climb the table.
“It’s a very difficult time for everybody and we need to adjust to it.
“That’s nearly going to be a month now between games. You can train all you want but match-fitness is a big thing and we’re now missing games.”
With their first two positive cases emerging last Monday and the self-isolation period being 10 days in that situation, St Mirren could be up to 10 outfield players by the time Hamilton are due to visit the Simple Digital Arena on Saturday.
Chief executive Tony Fitzpatrick said in a statement on Saturday: “This is hugely frustrating for our fans, the players and staff, and for everyone connected with the club.
“We will be working with the SPFL and relevant health authorities on this matter and will provide an appropriate update when more information is available.”