Jim Goodwin says Joe Shaughnessy suspension ‘not ideal’

Joe Shaughnessy will miss three games
Joe Shaughnessy will miss three games (PA Wire)
17:08pm, Thu 19 Nov 2020
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St Mirren manager Jim Goodwin feels they are better equipped to deal with Joe Shaughnessy’s latest suspension but bemoaned the loss of his defender for another three games.

The centre-back was sent off for an aerial challenge during St Mirren’s Betfred Cup win over Queen’s Park on Saturday and Saints decided against an appeal after consideration.

Saints were heading for a third win and clean sheet when the centre-back was sent off against Ross County four games into the season.

The visitors equalised and Goodwin’s side lost their next six games and have not won in the Premiership since amid a number of other suspensions, injury and Covid-19 problems.

But Goodwin has almost a full squad to choose from now with the likes of Ryan Flynn back to fitness and recent signing Brandon Mason to supplement his defence for Saturday’s trip to Livingston.

On a potential appeal, Goodwin said: “We had a good discussion about it and watched it from a number of different angles and came to the conclusion as a club that we didn’t feel it was beneficial. We felt we just needed to take our medicine.

“I definitely think we are better equipped to deal with suspensions and injury but obviously we want to try and avoid suspensions.

“We can all accept bookings from time to time for good, strong tackles and I think Joe has been very unfortunate on both occasions.

“People might not be shocked to hear someone like me say that.

“But I have to say his red card against Ross County, in my opinion, was a good strong tackle, and I can understand why the referee gave a red card at the weekend, but there’s definitely no intent. His eye never leaves the ball, there’s no movement against the Queen’s Park player’s head, he doesn’t point his elbow or swing his arm or anything like that.

“I have seen yellow cards shown in those instances before but unfortunately Joe has felt the brunt of it. Whether it’s his reputation going before him, I don’t know, but it’s not ideal.

“I can’t afford to keep losing guys like Joe because he is a very good experienced player for us.”

The bulk of the St Mirren players and management staff returned from a two-week period of self-isolation with a goalless draw against Dundee United in their last league game and Goodwin believes two Betfred Cup ties have helped them get back up to speed.

“We have had a good three weeks together now,” he said. “It’s been a great response from what we went through prior to the Dundee United game.

“The players applied themselves brilliantly, they obviously stuck to the programme during the period where they weren’t able to train together, and I think that shows in their fitness levels.

“We had to protect one or two over the past couple of weeks to make sure we didn’t suffer any injuries.

“Trying to avoid injury is key, especially going into the Christmas period. It’s going to take every member of the squad and I keep reiterating that to the players.”

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