Currently holed up at home with no respite whatsoever, Scott Allan has already come to loathe the exercise bike. Spin and weights might keep him ticking over but for a midfielder whose game is built on elegance and poise, it is no substitute for his usual routine with a ball at his feet.

A type one diabetic – insulin dependent since the age of 3 – Allan has had to properly self-isolate and take every possible precaution to guard against the Coronavirus. If the obvious challenges are there in the where and how questions that have lingered over the conclusion of the season since the shutdown was announced more than a fortnight ago, there are other less subtle difficulties in being confined alone at home.

“I don’t think I will ever look forward to a run more in my life when I finally get the chance to get out,” he said. “I have weights that I have been doing at home and I have a spin bike but I am at the stage where I get up in the morning, look at the bike and just think ‘urgh’. It’s one extreme to the other – you are used to going into a full dressing room and being surrounded by people all day to then going to nothing. It feels so unnatural.”

With the pandemic still to peak in the UK, it is impossible to make a call on what direction football will take. The longer it goes on the more unlikely it would seem that a return to any kind of normality can be anticipated before late summer but Allan has had ample time to contemplate the difficulties that any pick-up-where-we-left off suggestion may have.

“I don’t know how you finish nine games and factor in Cup games too,” said Allan. “If you think of a normal summer where you are off for four or maybe five weeks, you come back and have at least a month of hard graft and really physical work before you even think about the season starting. We are all going to be away from it for at least three or four months now so it will take time to get fitness and sharpness back – I don’t know that it would be realistic to go Saturday-Tuesday-Saturday after so long not playing.”

That Allan has carved out a top-flight career for himself while also managing his diabetes is testimony to his professionalism and determination. The first interruption to normal routine for the 28-year-old came a few weeks back when a scheduled talk on behalf of Diabetes UK to help children who share the condition but also wish to partake in regular sport was shelved.

If the current scenario presents its own series of challenges, they are unlikely to deter a player for whom the invisibility of his diabetes has given him a private concern throughout his career.

“Most players are so concentrated on the game on a match day,” he said “Their focus is all on the game and who they will be playing against. For me, the first time I really think about all of that is when I am running up the tunnel for kick-off.

“Every single minute before that is all about my blood sugars. I need them bang on and tight as anything if I am to have the energy to get myself through the game. I worked out when I was very young that if I was nervous before a game or if it was a big game that my adrenalin spiked my blood sugars. I test constantly on a match-day and always with a finger-prick test because it is the most accurate reading I can get.

“I eat the same food before every game because I know the exact units of insulin to take and I never change that because it works for me. But definitely before a game my bloods are all I am thinking about.

“I had a really bad hypo [when blood sugars are dangerously low] once when I was playing for Dundee when I was on loan from Celtic. We were playing Rangers at Ibrox and I knew within the first 20 minutes that I was starting to hypo.

“I was trying to get a drink and get some sugar into me and just make it through until half-time. But it got to the point where I couldn’t see the ball. I could barely move my legs. My vision was gone, I was dizzy and Neil McCann hooked me after 37 minutes. I took pelters off the Rangers fans that day because they all thought I was shocking.”