It’s not great news for St Mirren as they learn that centre-back Joe Shaughnessy is missing for three matches – but Jim Goodwin says they can handle the loss.
The Irish defender was brought to the club by Goodwin over the summer and the Buddies boss has moved to make him a key man at the back.
But a run of Covid-19 isolation measures and suspension means he’s had a stop-start time in Paisley so far. Now Shaughnessy is set to miss another three matches after a sending off last week in the League Cup against Queen’s Park, his second red of the term after a dismissal against Ross County in August.
Goodwin says St Mirren decided against appealing the decision and explains why he’s able to mange his loss better than earlier in the campaign.
“We had a good discussion about it and watched it from a number of different angles and came to the conclusion as a club that we didn’t feel it was beneficial,” Goodwin said of an appeal.
“We felt we just needed to take our medicine. I definitely think we are better equipped to deal with suspensions and injury but obviously we want to try and avoid suspensions.
“We can all accept bookings from time to time for good, strong tackles and I think Joe has been very unfortunate on both occasions. People might not be shocked to hear someone like me say that.
“But I have to say his red card against Ross County, in my opinion, was a good strong tackle, and I can understand why the referee gave a red card at the weekend, but there’s definitely no intent.
“His eye never leaves the ball, there’s no movement against the Queen’s Park player’s head, he doesn’t point his elbow or swing his arm or anything like that. I have seen yellow cards shown in those instances before but unfortunately Joe has felt the brunt of it.
“Whether it’s his reputation going before him, I don’t know, but it’s not ideal. I can’t afford to keep losing guys like Joe because he is a very good experienced player for us.”
Ahead of St Mirren’s trip to Livingston this weekend, several Buddies have been placed in a lockdown-style position as Renfrewshire moves into tier four of the Covid-19 tier system.
With many supporters facing more uncertainty, Goodwin believes it’s important for St Mirren to try and provide light-relief: “We’re all in the same boat but we as footballers are lucky we can continue our jobs.
“We have a game to look forward to most weekends. But all of our families and friends are all in a similar position to the supporters. They’d love to be getting to games and getting behind their team.
“Unfortunately it is what it is. I’m pretty sure people are sick of guys like me talking about it! But we are of course desperate to give the fans some kind of excitement and some kind of joy. Hopefully we can do that on Saturday.”