Alex Dyer was left proud of his young Kilmarnock players despite a 3-0 defeat to Dunfermline at Rugby Park.
Covid-19 problems have hampered Killie boss Dyer’s preparations in recent weeks. Their last Premiership match with Motherwell was postponed, followed by having to forfeit their League Cup opener against Falkirk last week.
This was due to six positive virus tests within the Rugby Park camp, the entire playing squad ordered into self-isolation. Some senior pros were able to return for the visit of Dunfermline in League Cup action on Tuesday night, but 12 of the 18-man squad were academy youngsters.
Whilst putting in a decent display, eventually Dunfermline took control, goals from Euan Murray and Fraser Murray sealing a comfortable Pars win. The effects of the last few weeks may have too their toll, but Dyer was still pleased with his young players.
“They did alright the young boys,” said the Kilmarnock manager. “I knew the senior ones would run out of steam as well, because they had only trained a couple of days.
“I am glad that most of the senior boys got near enough 90 minutes under their belts and we look forward to the weekend. I thought the younger boys showed that they can handle the situation better than I thought they could.
“Credit to them; I thought that they worked hard and showed some good ability at times, but it is a big ask. Over 90 minutes it is hard work and that is the reason why I couldn’t play eleven of them last week.
“Playing three, four or five of them at one time is not so bad, they have learned a lot. They all did well. The rest of the boys who have been out for two weeks are ready to come back and start training.
“We will just get going with the next two or three games and see how they are.”