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Manager Malky Mackay signals Ross County's mass Covid-19 outbreak is all but over ahead of Wednesday's Premier Sports Cup group clash at Brora Rangers

By Alasdair Fraser

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Ross County manager Malky Mackay at the recent 5-0 friendly win over Elgin City. Picture: Ken Macpherson
Ross County manager Malky Mackay at the recent 5-0 friendly win over Elgin City. Picture: Ken Macpherson

Malky Mackay believes Ross County's Covid-19 nightmare is nearly over – with Wednesday night's League Cup trip to Brora almost certain to go ahead.

The new Staggies' manager today sounded an optimistic note having carefully nursed most of the squad through the aftermath of the club's mass outbreak since their return to training on Thursday last week.

All but three of the County first team players – and a number of first team staff – tested positive after a friendly win away to Elgin City, with the club's football operation closed down for 10 days.

Emerging from a self-isolation period which led to their match at Forfar being cancelled, many of County's players continued to show the ill-effects of the virus, leading to Sunday's home test against Dundee being wiped out as well.

Penalised by two notional 3-0 defeats for those games, County's hopes of qualifying for the knock-out stages are already dead.

But Mackay admits the remaining group matches against Brora Rangers and at home to Montrose on Saturday now become even more important to league preparations.

He said: "We've trained the players gradually over the last few days and gave them yesterday off.

“We had a couple who were dipping in and out of training over Thursday and Friday, but everybody trained this morning.

“While I’m still hearing coughing, it is more coughing things up and clearing the airwaves. Everybody’s energy levels are getting there again.

“All things being equal, we’ll be fine for Brora."

mackay, still awaiting his first competitive match in charge since replacing John Hughes this summer, admitted the scenario had been deeply frustrating.

He added: "On Thursday last week, I had to halt the session half way through, given how bad it was.

“They were hanging by a thread at that point, so we stopped it and got food and rest in them.

“To be fair on Friday we did a little bit more, but still had a couple out of the main session and on Saturday it looked as if things were beginning to come back to normal.

“We were able to get them all through a training session, but they weren’t anywhere near the tempo we would have been needing.

“I was looking at it thinking there was no chance we’d even get through 45 minutes.

“Today, things are beginning to look more like normality.

“They should be back to where they should be within a week or so, hopefully."

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