Partick Thistle boss Ian McCall concerned about added injury risk upon swift League 1 return

Partick Thistle gaffer Ian McCallPartick Thistle gaffer Ian McCall
Partick Thistle gaffer Ian McCall
Partick Thistle manager Ian McCall reckons there could be a higher risk of players sustaining injuries if they have to cram in three games a week upon the imminent resumption of lower league football.

The Scottish Government announced on Tuesday that League 1 – which Thistle are in – League 2 and SWPL1 could return to training having been idle since January due to coronavirus restrictions, but players must be tested before matches which are exected to restart within two to three weeks.

Although Jags boss McCall is keen to return, he has fears that limited preparation time after such a long lay-off could make players more susceptible to injury when the games begin again.

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“I definitely think some of the players would get a lift from this news (returning to playing),” McCall said.

"But if you think in the close season you are maybe getting four weeks off, maybe five.

"Then you come back in and your pre-season is usually between four and six weeks.

"The players have now had two-and-a-half – it’s almost three months – off.

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"So time wise I think we’re going to be asked to prepare the players in two, maybe three, weeks.

"And we’ll just have to get on with that. I don’t think my club can get any worse hit with injuries but I do think it will lead to that type of thing.

"If it is a shortened season, it’s who’s lucky with injuries and take it from there.

"The last day of the season is due to be the last day of April so I think we would certainly need to put the season back a week.”

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As we went to press, it remained undecided as to whether clubs would be authorised to complete their scheduled 27 league games this season or if a shortened campaign – potentially 18 matches – would be implemented instead.

McCall, speaking on national radio, also revealed his anger at being relegated from the Championship in last season’s Covid-19 reduced campaign.

He added: “I was really, really angry and really, really gutted to be demoted with 25 per cent of a season to go.

"If we play 18 games, whoever’s down there would have every right to feel that as well I think. It’s a tough one and I think that our club has led well in the negotiations.”