League One may not get completed, warns ex-Wigan Athletic skipper

Former Wigan Athletic captain Stephen Warnock is worried that League One and Two may not get completed at this rate.
Stephen Warnock with his 'EFL on Quest' colleagues, including fellow Latics old boy Michael BrownStephen Warnock with his 'EFL on Quest' colleagues, including fellow Latics old boy Michael Brown
Stephen Warnock with his 'EFL on Quest' colleagues, including fellow Latics old boy Michael Brown

And he says it’s down to players to do as much as they can to ensure further fixture postponements due to Covid-19 are avoided.

“I could see league One and League Two not being completed like last year," said Warnock.

"I think the Championship will always get completed.

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“But the big thing is for me, it all comes down to the players trying to do the right things to lead into games.”

The introduction of bi-weekly Covid tests in the EFL is definitely the right move, according to Warnock's 'EFL on Quest' colleague Ali Maxwell.

“It’s clearly the right step and correct that the EFL have made the decision, recognizing what’s been happening across the country," he said.

"It’s been carnage in the last two or three efl game weeks about certain rules and regulations”.

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Latics announced on Sunday night that their next two games have been postponed following a coronavirus outbreak at the club.

The League One matches away to AFC Wimbledon and at home against Hull, which were scheduled for Wednesday and Saturday respectively, are now to be played on revised dates.

The Latics said in a statement on their official website: "We informed the EFL we would be unable to fulfil our next two fixtures following several positive Covid-19 tests and the requirements for our players and staff to self-isolate as per EFL and government guidance, in order to mitigate against the risk of further infection.

"We now wish for a safe and speedy recovery to all those who are affected. The circumstances surrounding the postponement will now be subject of an investigation in accordance with EFL regulations.

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"Revised dates for the fixtures will be confirmed in due course."

It means Latics have had three successive games postponed, with the match at Swindon that was scheduled for Saturday being called off due to a frozen pitch.

Their next scheduled match is on Saturday, January 16 at Rochdale - who have seen their last three fixtures postponed due to the virus.

That led to club doctor Wensley Tensel suggesting football have a short 'circuit-break' so clubs can deal with increasing numbers of positive results.

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West Brom boss Sam Allardyce has also called for a temporary shut down in England after the Premier League returned its highest number of positive coronavirus tests this season.

Between December 21 and 27, the league tested 1,479 players and club staff and 18 tested positive, eclipsing the previous highest number of cases, 16 during the week of November 9-15.

In Scotland, St Johnstone became the latest club to report a positive case earlier this week.

However, Rangers manager Steven Gerrard insists there is no evidence that would solve British football's Covid-19 woes.

"You leave those decisions to the powers that be," he said.

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"My own opinion is that if there's going to be a significant improvement, and everything is going to be perfectly fine to crack on as normal after that two or three-week circuit break, then I'd obviously be for it.

"But I don't think there's any evidence or data to suggest there's a guarantee of improvement after a circuit break.

"We also have to realise what football is doing for people who are being told to stay at home and are suffering from boredom and Covid-related challenges.

"Football is giving people a release and excitement, something to watch.

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"There's been a lot of football north and south of the border and it's really helping people in terms of their daily routine because everyone's affected by Covid.

"Look, I'll follow what the decision makers do in this situation but for me there's no guarantee a two-week break will make things a lot rosier than they are now."