Dundee United’s coronavirus crisis has deepened after the club confirmed nine members of their playing squad are now self-isolating.
The Tangerines are scheduled to face Livingston away on Saturday afternoon and were already going to be without manager Micky Mellon and his entire first-team coaching staff for that game, as well as next weekend’s home match against Rangers.
Under-18s coach Thomas Courts will take the team.
Now the pandemic problem has spread to the players as a result of their contact with medical staff at their training base at St Andrews.
Liaising with football chiefs and local authorities
United sporting director Tony Asghar said: “After further discussions with the Scottish FA and Tayside Health Board, we have been advised that our non-playing staff who have been self-isolating should continue to do so.
“Our academy head of tactical performance Thomas Courts and other academy staff will lead the team for Saturday’s game against Livingston.
STATEMENT FROM SPORTING DIRECTOR TONY ASGHAR RE: COVID-19https://t.co/2NbFcPFrEz
— Dundee United FC (@dundeeunitedfc) December 4, 2020
“Furthermore, nine members of our squad are now self-isolating as a precaution due to having close contact with medical staff at the HPC at St Andrews.
“We are grateful for the cooperation and guidance of the SPFL, Scottish FA and Tayside Health Board in this matter and we now focus our attention on preparing for Saturday’s fixture.”
Surprise Dundee United ‘promotion’ for academy coach
Meanwhile, Courts insists he is not fazed by his dramatic “promotion”.
The former Kelty Hearts boss – now the head of tactical performance at United’s academy – said on Thursday: “The modern coaching environment is so fluid just now, with all the protocols, governance and guidelines, that you need to be agile and flexible in dealing with any situation that develops.
“At this moment in time the gaffer would probably want me to be focused on a daily basis.
“We are speaking every six hours. I feel like I have a good understanding of how I need to represent the gaffer.
“I have the details that the players need to see and hear out on the training pitch.
“He (Mellon) has been updated at regular intervals and seems quite content just now.”