Ross County’s weekend trip to Forfar Athletic in the Premier Sports Cup appears to be in doubt.
On Tuesday, the Scottish Premiership club confirmed that several players – reportedly eight – and coaches had tested positive for Covid-19.
County have yet to say whether or not they will be in a position to play their League Two opponents Forfar on Saturday in what would be Malky Mackay’s first competitive game in charge of the Staggies.
Training was scrapped this week and club shop shut for an afternoon, although it is open for business again and keen to welcome supporters as interest in season tickets and merchandise rises.
Forfar had to forfeit a group stage tie last season, resulting in a 3-0 defeat, as did Kilmarnock and Albion Rovers, who suffered the same fate.
SPFL rules state that should clubs be unable or unwilling to play these quick-fire ties, it means a 3-0 walkover win to their opponents.
County will be eager to avoid that at all costs, with matches against Dundee, (July 18), Highland League champions Brora Rangers (July 21) and Montrose (July 24) also to fit in.
It’s understood the SPFL is monitoring the situation at the Dingwall club closely.
One pre-season game for County
County got their preparations for the new campaign started on Saturday when they ran out 5-0 friendly winners at Elgin City.
Mackay, who has added five new signings this summer, had no bounce games set up this week due to the focus being on adding to his number and preparing for Forfar.
That was the case until the statement on Tuesday morning and, as yet, there has been no update from County.
Four new faces so far for Mackay
So far Mackay has signed midfielder Ross Callachan from Hamilton and ex-Gillingham striker Dominic Samuel on permanent deals.
Both these players got on the scoresheet against Elgin, with Callachan netting twice and Samuel swooping to head home his first goal for the Staggies.
Mackay, whose extensive contacts will be crucial as manager in Dingwall, delved within to raid two English Premier League clubs for season-long loans.
On Friday, 21-year-old Southampton left-back Jake Vokins was confirmed as heading north, then on Monday he was joined by Manchester City midfielder Alexander Robertson, 18.
Mackay, though impressed by the quality of young players within the ranks, knows he needs more quality to bolster his pool, but stressed that he’ll use the transfer window until it closes at the end of August to achieve that.