Gavin Price insists Elgin City will get stronger as they days and weeks progress after their 5-0 weekend pre-season loss to Ross County.
The Black and Whites boss had six first-team players missing as they are recovering from Covid, which was a situation which effectively shut the club down from activities for over a week.
They went into their game against Premiership County, in Malky Mackay’s first game in charge, far from full strength.
Price uses squad smartly amid Covid absences
However, young players bolstered their bench options and Price used the squad in a sensible manner.
TEAM NEWS ⚽
Your City team to face @RossCounty in this afternoons Pre-season Friendly
— Elgin City F.C. (@ElginCityFC) July 3, 2021
Ross Callachan scored a goal within the first three minutes for the Dingwall team, but Elgin stood firm and it was only in the second half that the result ran away from the hosts.
Price explained: “I was really pleased with the first half. We looked really organised and created chances and defended well. I was pleased because from where we are and, with the little training we have had, I was buoyed by what I saw.
“The second half showed us where we are right now. We made a lot of changes and I didn’t want to risk playing too many of our key players too long, so I took them off quite early. That was always the plan.
“I wasn’t worried about the scoreline. We had younger players coming on in the second half and it was a good experience for them against the quality of opposition. That will stand them in good stead for the future.”
Strong reaction by Elgin after early set-back
Not allowing their heads to drop after conceding to early in front of some home fans at Borough Briggs pleased the City manager.
He said: “I was pleased by how we reacted to that early goal. Yes, the second half was too much for us, given the players we had available. We were mindful of that and I wasn’t going to have players playing 90 minutes.”
“I got what we wanted from the game in terms of minutes on the park for the players and a reasonable performance.”
Little pitched in for debut days after virus recovery
Price, who handed a debut to ex-Stenhousemuir defender Creag Little, praised him and others for playing in the match despite having only just got over the virus.
He explained: “Creag Little, Angus Mailer and Rory MacEwan have all just recovered from Covid and you could tell they were struggling a little in the game. Angus got through 90 minutes, so fair play to him.
“That’s the predicament we are in and we just have to deal with it.
“Hopefully we will have Matthew Cooper and Archie Macphee back soon – they are two big players for us and that will certainly help.”
Elgin take on Highland League side Strathspey Thistle on Tuesday before getting their Premier Sports Cup campaign at home to Championship Arbroath on Saturday.