Ross County manager Stuart Kettlewell admits his side may be forced to make a 400-mile round trip to Kilmarnock for this Saturday’s Scottish Premiership encounter.
East Ayrshire is one of 11 local authorities that will move from tier three to tier four restrictions on Friday following yesterday’s announcement by the First Minister.
The Staggies are planning to stay in Kilmarnock on Friday night ahead of their match at Rugby Park, but Kettlewell says they have made plans in the event they are not able to stay overnight.
Under tier four restrictions, non-essential shops, pubs, gyms and restaurants will all be shut with the new rules affecting around 2.3 million people.
Kettlewell said: “The plan is to stay at the Park Hotel, which is right opposite Rugby Park, but I’m not sure if there’s going to be a spanner in the works for that.
“We’re waiting on confirmation for that.
“This would be our only overnight travel. Our intention is to travel down on Friday as it stands just now, but it might be that we need to travel on the day with two bus drivers sharing the driving.
“We might need to stop somewhere as far away as Perth for a pre-match meal, which would still leave us an hour and a half away from the ground.
“There are challenges there, but myself and the staff have Plan A and Plan B, and whatever one it is we’ll make no excuse about it.
“We have to see what is allowed, and what we can make best use of.
“In a nutshell, it might be totally different from what we’re used to.”
Kettlewell hopes the Scottish Premiership season won’t be derailed by the coronavirus pandemic.
The 2019-20 season was cut short by the Covid-19 crisis, leading to lengthy and heated debate over how titles, promotion and relegation should be worked out.
With 24 of his side’s Premiership matches still to play, Kettlewell knows there is little wriggle room if the league is to be completed on time.
He said: “It is massive and we are fully into the crux of it now.
“The special dispensation that football has had has been greatly appreciated by all.
“I think we have learned a lot of lessons from where we started to where we are just now.
“If there are lockdowns then I would hope football would continue and it wouldn’t be delayed in any way.
“We have a lot of fixtures to get through and we have a really busy schedule in December and January and if there is disruption just now then it is going to be a big problem going forward.
“I generally hope that it won’t have an affect on football and we can continue to do the right things.”
County are likely to be heading into this Saturday’s meeting with Kilmarnock without in-form striker Oli Shaw, who has scored five in his previous six games for the Staggies.
He is not the only injury concern for the County boss.
Kettlewell said: “Ross Draper has a calf injury, which has been long-term. Michael Gardyne took a bad knock against Livingston with a lot of swelling to his ankle and foot.
“Oli Shaw tweaked his groin at the weekend and Connor Randall has a hamstring problem.
“We have a whole variety of problems, but most of them are days away rather than weeks away, which is a good thing.
“It is just the turnover over the next couple of weeks.”