STEVIE CRAWFORD believes that clubs will have to accept that they could find themselves without players because of coronavirus.

The Pars boss says that, if players are sticking to the guidelines set out by the Scottish Government and the football authorities but contract COVID-19, that is something that is "uncontrollable".

On Saturday, St Mirren had to face Hibernian – for whom ex-Dunfermline hitman Kevin Nisbet netted in a 3-0 win – without any of their three goalkeepers because of the virus.

Both Jack Alnwick and Dean Lyness tested positive and were self-isolating, while third-choice Peter Urminsky was found to be potentially at risk of transmission, despite testing negative, after GPS data from training sessions was examined.

The Buddies signed Hearts stopper Zdenek Zlamal on an emergency loan for the game but, when asked if such a potential situation is a worry, Crawford replied: "There's certain things you control but certain things that are uncontrollable and, at the end of the day, football players have got their families.

"If they're living their lives to the protocols and the guidelines that have been set, and are respectful of that, it still doesn't mean that you're immune to possibly getting the virus.

"You've got to try and think with a clear head that, at some stage in the season, it might be something you possibly face.

"It's not looking at that in a negative way; it's out there that all teams are open to this. It's something that, mentally, we've got to be aware of that should we have to face this, that we're as ready as we possibly can be to deal with it.

"I don't think it's just St Mirren who are going to face a situation like that this season. It's just being mindful that it could possibly happen to us as a football club, and we'll go about that should we face it, in the right manner."

Skipper Euan Murray added: "I'm not too worried about it as such. Some of the rules are quite strict for us but you do realise you are a footballer, you're in a privileged position and you do need to abide by them. As long as I know I am abiding by what I've been asked to do and I'm not out doing stuff I shouldn't be, and I'm not breaking COVID protocols, then there's only so much you can do to protect yourself.

"You can't ask your family to not go out and see anyone or go to their work. These are things you can't affect but, as long as you're looking after yourself away from the park, and making sure you're doing the right things, I don't think anyone can argue with you too much."