Dundee’s vital victory over Aberdeen at the weekend proved the benefits of squad depth in a world still affected by Covid-19.
That’s the view of Dens Park boss James McPake after he was without four first-team players for Saturday’s 2-1 win following positive tests prior to the match.
It’s not the first time this season multiple senior players have been ruled out just days before a big game for the Dark Blues.
However, a relaxing of some rules regarding close contacts and a stronger overall squad meant the absences didn’t impact the performance on the pitch.
“We’ve had a few Covid cases at the club again so we send those affected our best wishes,” McPake said.
“We had a few players back from injury last weekend which was key and it showed just how important squad depth is with Covid still around.
“The way we have built our squad we can deal with it a little better than before.
“It just all depends on the how many and what positions are missing.
“We’re a bit more experienced in dealing with that now but you still never know when players might get it or how it might impact the team.
Dundee had 4 players missing due to Covid – that only adds to the performance put in tonight
To a man, superb. Charlie Adam supreme, Griffiths off the mark, McCowan excellent, Ashcroft, excellent to pick out a few
Some game. https://t.co/y0vXEUKHmU
— George Cran (@di_cranio) October 16, 2021
“Now it has changed a little where if you are a close contact you can get tested rather than going into isolation, that’s eased things a little.
“The players affected will be back available for the weekend.
“The most important thing is the health and wellbeing of our staff, though. That’s always the over-riding thing.”
Shaun Byrne injury
With those four players returning for the weekend trip to high-flying Hearts, McPake’s options are bolstered even further.
One that will almost certainly be missing is midfielder Shaun Byrne after he was stretchered off in the closing stages of the weekend win.
His injured knee has been scanned but how long he might be out for is not yet known.
“Shaun was scanned yesterday morning,” McPake said.
“We have to get a clearer picture on the full extent of the injury before we think about anything else.
“We have plenty of options in midfield if he is missing for a while.
“Shaun is a very important player for us and has been very consistent all year.
“And the club will back him whatever happens.”