In an exclusive interview with Football FanCast, former Southampton footballer Carlton Palmer has reacted to Alex McCarthy’s positive coronavirus test as Southampton prepare to play host to Premier League leaders, Liverpool, at St Mary’s on Monday night.
McCarthy has been an integral part of Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side this season thus far, keeping seven clean sheets in 16 league games, via Transfermarkt.
The Saints manager, who has only recently returned from a period of self-isolation himself, confirmed that McCarthy may also be unavailable for the FA Cup clash with League One side Shrewsbury Town.
“After the last round of tests, we have one positive case now with McCarthy, so he’s out for the game on Monday and maybe also the Shrewsbury game, as he has to self-isolate for a period,” Hasenhuttl said.
Only Aston Villa’s Emiliano Martinez has kept more clean sheets in the top-flight since the start of the season, with McCarthy averaging 2.9 saves per game, as per SofaScore.
However, despite their latest setback, Palmer isn’t too worried about his former team’s prospects, as he believes they have the strength in depth to adapt to the ever-changing environment.
He told FFC:
“It’s one of those unfortunate things that’s happened to most Premier League teams this season that they’ve lost one or two players to the virus.
“And it’s one of those things, these things happen, they happen to everybody, and it’s how you adapt. Of course, you’re always going to miss your best players, but it’s about how you adapt as a team and that’s what the pandemic has proven in life.
“It’s about who’s resilient, who’s strong, that’s what it’s proving now.”
Hasenhuttl does have the luxury of several options at his disposal – he will most likely hand Fraser Forster a rare start and could also call upon the services of one-time England U18 international Harry Lewis if required.
AND in other news, Southampton suffer Alex McCarthy blow before Liverpool clash…