Forres boss MacDonald calls for five Highland League replacements

Forres Mechanics manager Steven MacDonald believes the Breedon Highland League should consider allowing five substitutes.

This season, Scottish Premiership, Championship, League One and League Two teams are all allowed to make five changes in a game.

The same number of changes can also be made in Scottish CupLeague Cup and Challenge Cup.

Can-Cans boss MacDonald believes the positives outweigh the negatives when it comes to five subs.

He said: “To me, it makes no mathematical sense that we are allowed seven substitutes on the bench but can only use three.

“The top four leagues in Scotland are allowed to use five substitutes, so why not the Highland League?

“As a part-time manager, you expect most weeks to go without multiple players for various reasons, so you need a bigger squad.

“From a social point of view, it makes sense because you can replace players who are tired or who have knocks.

“From a mental well-being perspective, that means more of your players are getting playing time, which makes them happier and the team more cohesive.

“It would give you more coverage during a game and potentially help introduce more youngsters into the league.

“It could help with injury prevention by being able to pull guys who are struggling rather than asking them to keep going.

“Five substitutes would also allow managers to make more tactical changes in a game.”

The positives outweigh the negatives for MacDonald

Some would argue that having five subs rather than three favors better resourced clubs that are able to carry larger teams.

But MacDonald doesn’t think those teams would have a greater advantage if a change were made.

He added: “If you look at some of the best teams of recent times like Brora and Buckie, they’ve had success with smaller teams where they’ve had quality rather than quantity.

“In my opinion, I don’t necessarily think bigger clubs with more resources would be stronger if they could use five substitutes because they tend to trust the quality they have more.

Steven MacDonald believes allowing teams to make five substitutions would benefit Highland League players.

“If you’re looking for negatives from a financial point of view, clubs might have to pay more in win bonuses, but I guess you’d have to budget for that if there was a rule change.

“You could say that more subs at the end of a game means more time wasted, but that’s for a referee to control.

“Overall, weighing the positives and negatives, I think there’s a much bigger argument to say that this is something we should be looking at.

“It’s probably not possible this season, but I think it’s definitely something the Highland League should be looking to deliver.”

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[Forres boss MacDonald calls for five subs in Highland League]

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