BRIAN RICE believes the precedent has been set by the SPFL on players missing due to Covid-19 and little can be done about it, after three Hamilton players were put into self-isolation for 10 days.

The Hamilton boss has had quite the week of it. After 18-year-old Kyle Munro scored a winner on his full debut against Livingston on Saturday, three members of the squad tested positive for Covid-19 on Monday.

It was later confirmed that those results were false positives. But, in line with Scottish Government guidelines the trio still have to self-isolate for 10 days and Hamilton had been unable to train until partaking in a non-contact session yesterday.

And Rice, admitting it hasn’t been a week void of frustration, conceded quite simply this is the reality of playing football throughout a pandemic.

“I’ve had quieter weeks, he admitted. “It’s been a long week so far and it’s been quite frustrating. We arrived on Monday morning for training and there was a wee buzz about the place after the result last weekend. On Tuesday when we got the news of the positive tests it did put a damper on things.

“I’ve got four players out with the Covid situation and four injuries so at least eight players will be out (for tomorrow’s match against Kilmarnock), but I’m not using that as an excuse. We’ve cried out for football to get back since March and we’re back playing, and we need to keep playing.”

Hamilton haven’t been the only club affected by players self-isolating. Last week, all three of St Mirren’s goalkeepers were told to quarantine after Jak Alnwick tested positive for Covid-19. That also meant that Alnwick's housemate Lee Hodson, a Hamilton defender, had to isolate for 14 days aswell.

Jim Goodwin was furious that had he not managed to sign Bobby Zlamal on loan from Hearts, an outfield player would have been forced to deputise in goal. And while Rice sympathised with Goodwin, he accepted the SPFL have nailed their colours to the mast, and that the football will evidently go on despite certain players being unavailable.

He said: “I’ve total sympathy with Jim, the goalkeeping situation is a completely different scenario. The precedent has been set, we know the rules and I don’t expect that to change, if my 3 goalkeepers are out then that’s my problem and I need to find a solution.

“We can’t change the goalposts now, it happened to (Alex) Gogic at Hibs and he couldn’t play. I’ve got three Saturday that can’t play so I don’t think it would be fair if the rules change now. I would be disappointed if the rules change. You can’t just have rules for one and rules for another, I don’t think the league would allow that.”

Hamilton made it two away wins on the trot at the weekend when Munro scored a last minute winner at the Toni Macaroni Arena. After falling behind in the first minute they secured all three points through the defender after David Templeton had equalised.

It's been speculated the large pile on the followed the winner may have been the cause of the false positives. And whilst Rice admitted that can't be known for sure, he did apologise the celebrations. He added: "We can’t say for definite if the celebrations were a contributing factor to the positive results, nobody knows. What I will say is, we’re only human. I have an 18-year-old kid making his full debut, he scores a winner in the 85th minute and the boys did get carried away. We sincerely apologise for that, the Covid officer has had a word with them toady and I don’t expect that to happen again."