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Jim Goodwin: 'Coronavirus could harm VAR's introduction in Scotland'

Jim Goodwin: 'Coronavirus could harm VAR's introduction in Scotland'
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The Irishman insists the pandemic should not hush the debate on whether video technology is the way ahead.

St Mirren boss Jim Goodwin fears the coronavirus pandemic has killed off any chance of VAR being introduced into Scottish football any time soon.

However, the Irishman insists the pandemic should not hush the debate on whether video technology is the way ahead.

Goodwin has been left furious by key decisions going against his side this week.

Last Saturday, Willie Collum missed two clear hand-balls – one committed by Hibernian defender Ryan Porteous inside his own box, the other as Martin Boyle bundled home his side's third goal – while John Beaton failed to spot Shane Duffy using an arm in Celtic's packed penalty area as the Hoops claimed a 2-1 victory in Paisley on Wednesday.

The Saints boss does not blame the officials for those controversial calls and says it is time they got some help.

He said: "I don't think anyone would mind me saying we've had a couple of big decisions that haven't gone our way in the last two games.

"But I'm not critical of the officials. They can only give what they can see.

"But I do think it's time we opened the discussion over VAR.

"We all know the finances aren't in our game at the moment but it certainly should be something we're looking to bring in and find a way to help referees.

"We would have had penalties against Hibs and Celtic if we'd had VAR available. I've seen those kind of penalties given down in England.

"Hopefully one day we'll get it in – but it's not something I expect to see any time soon.

"The coronavirus has had a huge impact on every club out there financially and there's bigger things to worry about right now.

"But I think it is time to have a serious discussion about VAR. Anything that helps referees get key decisions right can only be a good thing."

Saints are looking to turn things around after three straight defeats when they travel to Tannadice on Saturday.

Dundee United could welcome back Lawrence Shankland into their starting ranks for the first time since the opening day of the season after the Scotland striker recovered from an ankle injury.

Former Saints skipper Goodwin knows the frontman well after he helped the Buddies stave off relegation from the Championship back in 2016 and fears he could prove just as key to Micky Mellon's team this weekend.

"He's a top player and I'm sure United as a whole will be desperate to get him back on the park," said the St Mirren manager. "He's a great boy, Lawrence. An ex team-mate of mine at the club here and he's gone on to great things.

"Everybody knew the technical attributes that he had. He always had nice feet and an eye for goal.

"His goals probably single-handedly kept us up the year he was here on loan from Aberdeen if I'm being honest. But there was always question marks over his physical fitness.

"But the older and more mature he's got, he's educated himself on the front. He's done a personal training course and had got himself fit, which everybody can see the benefits of.

"He's got an incredible scoring record in the Championship and now wants to prove he can do that in the Premiership.

"Hopefully that's not tomorrow against us."

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Dundee United boss Micky Mellon pictured on August 22, 2020
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