Oxford United boss opens up on Wigan Athletic postponement

Karl Robinson insists he was as 'incredibly frustrated' as anyone after Oxford United's trip to Wigan Athletic was postponed due to Covid in his side's camp.

Sunday, 21st November 2021, 11:11 am
Updated Sunday, 21st November 2021, 11:12 am
Karl Robinson

Seven of Oxford’s players felt unwell overnight and received positive lateral flow tests on Saturday morning.

Following consultation between the both clubs and the EFL, the game was called off - three and half hours before kick-off - and a new date will be arranged.

The decision was met with disappointment and, in some cases, anger from supporters of both sides who'd already begun or even completed their travel plans.

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Robinson, though, says his club were blameless.

“It was incredibly frustrating," he told the Oxford website. “But we couldn’t do anything about it.

"We had a player test positive on Wednesday so he was told to stay away. We then tested every player on Thursday and everyone was negative.

"We tested again on Friday then travelled up to Wigan following all of the relevant protocols on the bus and in terms of the hotel.

"We tested again when we got there, then one or two players started feeling unwell overnight and so we tested again when they came down at 9am.

“Five of them tested positive including our one available goalkeeper. Jack Stevens is ill, Kie Plumley had been in close contact and because of his age has only had one jab so was ruled out, Mackenzie Chapman is out on loan and Eddie Brearey and Fraser Barnsley played last night but we were still doing all we could to get the game on.

"We contacted the EFL and asked for permission to try and sign a goalkeeper on Emergency Loan and provided that happened we would still have been happy to play the game.

“But by 11 o’clock we had two more positive tests and it was becoming clear that we couldn’t get a goalkeeper in time so we had no option but to call the game off.

"We were in contact with Wigan, I was in touch with their manager all the time, and with the EFL and we got the news out as quickly as we could.

"But obviously we feel sorry for fans of both clubs who will have been looking forward to what should have been a really exciting game.

“It’s too early to say what will happen next week with home games on Tuesday and Saturday but with injuries and now Covid we could have 10 players missing.

"Players will have PCR tests and we have a little bit more time to look at who is available and possible Emergency Goalkeeping loans.

"But for now our priority is just making sure everyone is safe and well.”

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