HIBS head coach Jack Ross insists he is ‘surprised’ by the decision to place the entire Scotland under-19 squad in isolation for 14 days, potentially depriving him of Josh Doig for the next three fixtures.
Doig was making his international debut at that level against England at St George’s Park on Thursday when the contest was abruptly halted after 38 minutes, with news filtering through that boss Billy Stark had received a positive Covid-19 test.
The match was subsequently called off, and Ross revealed that the baffled players were initially instructed to remain on the field during the uncertainty.
And the Hibs boss last night confirmed that all members of that squad will be required to self-isolate for 14 days, albeit discussions are ongoing between the Scottish FA’s medical staff and several affected clubs.
It followed hot on the heels of the news that Stuart Armstrong has tested positive on Scotland duty, resulting in Kieran Tierney and Ryan Christie also being forced to self-isolate.
“We have got to follow the information we are given,” said a visibly frustrated Ross. “At the moment they all need to isolate but we’ll need further clarity.
“I believe it’s the standard 14 days which means Josh wouldn’t be back until a couple of days before Kilmarnock, which seems a long way away.
“It is surprising for us that everybody in that group has been placed in isolation but we will await further news and hopefully it will be positive news.
“Josh has travelled back up and is back in Edinburgh, at home, and we are awaiting further information.
“Our medical team has been in dialogue with the international team at the SFA and we are awaiting further guidance.”
While Thursday’s developments spoke to the big picture issues facing the sport amid the Covid-19 crisis and, in particular, the challenges of international football, Ross was also keen to underline how bizarre the afternoon was for his young player.
“It was very strange for Josh because he is still a young man, only 18, and the game gets called to a halt after 38 minutes and they don’t know why,” said Ross. “They were told to stay on the pitch – actually on the pitch, not allowed to move!
“Do I get that? I don’t know if I do.”
Ross added ruefully: “They don’t teach this in the coaching manuals. It might need a new module – as long as I’m not teaching it.”