There But For The Sake Of A Leaflet Go I
Updated Wednesday, 2nd March 2011
Players are always looking for something to improve performance but they have to make sure they do not cross the line into illegal substances
Derek McInnes, like all managers, will be reviewing the advice given to players following the news that Simon Mensing had served a four-week ban for testing positive for the stimulant methylhexaneamine. Mensing used to play for St Johnstone side so the message which will be underlined by McInnes is particularly pertinent to his players. The Hamilton midfielder missed five games until his return to SPL action in the 1-1 draw with Dundee United on Saturday. Mensing explanation that he was unaware he had ingested the substance, which was contained within an apparently legitimate supplement - has been accepted by UK Anti-Doping. However, the Saints boss will take the opportunity to remind his players of their responsibilities.
McInnes said: "There were leaflets handed out to all our players at the start of the season but this alerts us all. There is that much stuff about, all of which is above board. Players look for that wee bit extra and in some clubs and leagues it is actively encouraged. I played with Simon at St Johnstone and he is a good, experienced professional who will have more awareness than most. So we will speak about it again and send home the message, especially to the younger players. We have to stress to them that they can't just buy products over the counter, they have to run it past our medical people first. It shows that we can't be complacent."
McInnes does not believe his side need a pep-talk before tonight's home game with Aberdeen, who share the same 30 points total. The two sides have games in hand on Motherwell and Inverness above them. The former midfielder feels prospects of a top-half finish will become clearer after the next two home games against Aberdeen and Hibs. He said: "I think Kilmarnock will stay with the Old Firm and Hearts, and Dundee United have games in hand and will maybe be favourites to reach the top six, so that means there is one slot available with five teams looking for it. To have that opportunity to get there is great testament to my players. Expectations were raised after last season and rightly so. We haven't quite reached them yet but it is difficult to be critical of them. We are 15 points clear of the bottom side and we will take that without question regardless of our position in the table. We have two very important games coming up as well as a Scottish Cup game against Brechin. If we can come out of the two SPL games against Aberdeen and Hibs with credit then a top-six place becomes a serious objective for us. On the other hand, no wins and it will be difficult."
Ger Harley (ger@scottishfitba net)
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