Manager Jim McInally has moved to clear up any talk of ‘being disrespectful’ by playing goalkeeper Brett Long as an outfield substitute in last night’s SPFL Trust Trophy 2-1 win over Dundee B and has advised that he could do it again in the next round.
Long came on for Derryn Kesson with three minutes to play with the Blue Toon winning 2-1 and Jim explained why by saying: “Dundee acted within the rules at all times in terms of changing the game and fielding Danny Strachan, Josh Mulligan and Lyall Cameron so there is no grievance with them. As a club we did have a grievance in that we were not treated appropriately by the SPFL over when and where this game should be played and the fact that three players on loan to us would be playing against us.”
“Despite that grievance my job and the players’ job was to win the tie so I had to make the best use of the resources I had. On top of the three Dundee boys not being available to us we have three players out with injury. That took my squad down to 14 players, two of whom are goalkeepers.”
“The two outfield substitutes were put on early in the second half and I thought that was that. However Derryn was injured a few minutes from time and could not carry on. The choice I had was to play with ten men or throw Brett on in a forward role and ask him to be a nuisance as we looked to protect a one goal lead.”
“I opted for the latter so it was not about being disrespectful, it was about being pragmatic. The three Dundee boys are now cup-tied and at least two of three injured players will miss the next round so if anyone else cannot play I may have to make the same decision.”