Jack Ross has hit out at the lack of clarity over the training guidelines following the false-positive test results for Hibs midfielder Alex Gogic.
The Hibees boss was forced to cancel training on Saturday following Gogic’s inconclusive test results. Follow-up tests brought up two negative conclusions, but the battler now has to miss his international debut and isolate on a precautionary measure for 10 days.
Ross can’t quite ‘comprehend’ why his summer signing had to miss Hibs’ 1-0 defeat to Aberdeen on Sunday, providing reason as to why he thinks that.
“I always try and be quite pragmatic about things and take a step back,” said Ross. “I find it slightly difficult to comprehend as to why. I don’t think it would be the case for anybody in any other profession that they wouldn’t be able to go to their work, having had a negative NHS COVID test.
“The rules are there. What I will say is that there are some big games coming up in Scotland soon. If there is a recurrence of this and a player with two negative tests comes out of the game, then it will be interesting to see the fall out from that if that was to happen.
“We have test privately, we do that. He had one test that came back and meant we had to retest him. He was re-tested privately and through the NHS, which is the guidelines, and both returned negative.
“His first test result was at a level that he was never infectious. I have a player who was never infectious who had two negative tests that can’t play. I’m not an expert in it and I’m only going by the facts and I’m trying to stick by the facts.
“I don’t think there should be more leeway, but I would imagine that these guidelines were maybe put in place at a different stage of the lockdown for the general public. So when we spoke about football being afforded special privileges to return to work, we had to acknowledge that was the case because we were able to return to training at a very different stage in everyone else’s life.
“Now I think we’re at a different stage so I can’t quite comprehend how every other person returning test results like that would be free to go to their work. This is what it is, it’s his work, not only at club football but at international football and at the moment he’s not going to be able to do that. It took us a long time to get answers to whether we could train, what we could do, what happens to the player etc.”
Ross didn’t get much help from the Scottish Football Association either: “10:30 on Friday evening I still did not know whether I could train on Saturday. I think that’s a long time to get an answer on a pretty straightforward question. I think I’m being fair to be critical in that respect.
“We never really got clarity on it, we made the decision ourselves. We got a recommendation that perhaps we shouldn’t, but that was not definitive. We made the decision as a club and I made the decision as a manager. They gave some guidance that said you may be able to train in the afternoon but I think that perhaps underestimates the complexities in doing that.
“It’s not as simple as just giving the boys a whistle and they all appear on the pitch so we made the decision not to train and that was the right decision because we wouldn’t have had the go ahead to do so.”
Meanwhile, Ross has provided an update on winger Daryl Horgan. It is expected that the Irishman will end his two-year stay in Edinburgh this week as he heads back to the EFL. Jamie Murphy has been brought in on loan from Rangers to help cover this gap.
“It’s likely that Horgan will leave in the coming days,” said Ross. “It’s been in the pipeline for a couple of weeks so we needed to have enough cover for that.
“Jamie coming in gives us that extra wide player again, so it’s not padding out the squad, it’s really just replacement and giving us another option. He hasn’t even met the group because obviously we didn’t train (on Saturday) so he’s still catching up fitness-wise but it was nice to get him on the pitch and he will be an asset for us going forward.
“There’s been some interest in Daryl for a few weeks from a club in England and that has accelerated so it looks like that may happen, we’ll see in the coming days but in anticipation of that, we’ve had to make sure we were prepared for it and bringing Jamie in is our way of doing that.”