Aston Villa manager Steven Gerrard says anxiety over Covid-19 is reaching such a level that one of his players was reluctant to get out of his car.
An outbreak at Villa forced their match against Burnley last Saturday to be postponed at short notice, and Gerrard says it will be a “nightmare” if the club have to tackle two matches in two days with just 14 players available.
Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson insists player welfare is not taken seriously in England, as clubs manage the usual congested festive programme alongside a resurgence in Covid cases, and Villa boss Gerrard said the situation is becoming almost impossible to manage.
Gerrard: “It’s changing every hour, it’s very unpredictable, we’re testing every day.
— Aston Villa (@AVFCOfficial) December 22, 2021
Steven Gerrard on the current Covid situation.
“We had a situation at the weekend where one of the players was reluctant to get out of his car because he had some symptoms and he’s got a young family, and you can totally understand his view in his situation,” Gerrard said.
“This is a guy who’s got a young family, it is Christmas time, and that’s the situation everyone is in.
“No-one wants to get this virus. Everyone wants to protect their own families. This is our job and your priority is always going to be your family, of course it is.
“Thankfully he was tested after and he didn’t have a situation, but that player would not have been available for me on the day, and these are the little situations that people don’t see.
“We’ve got a major responsibility to listen to the players and deal with every situation as it comes your way.”
Premier League clubs collectively agreed to continue the season on Monday despite a season-high 90 positive Covid cases recorded last week which led to six out of 10 top-flight matches due to be played last weekend being called off.
— Premier League (@premierleague) December 18, 2021
‘Hopefully we won’t be in that situation.’
Villa are due to host Chelsea on Boxing Day and travel to Leeds two days later. Asked how they would manage if they had only 14 players available, Gerrard said: “Hopefully we won’t be in that situation, but we’re going to need a bit of luck, we’re going to need some testing results to go our way.
“Hopefully we won’t be in that situation, but if you are, that is a nightmare, simple as that.”
The Premier League is hosting virtual managers’ and captains’ meetings on Thursday to listen to their respective concerns.