Covid-hit Rotherham United aim to avoid playing three games per week

Rotherham United are hopeful Saturday’s Championship game against Coventry City will go ahead because with the Football League still looking to complete the season on May 8, any further postponements would mean playing three times in a week.

Rotherham manager Paul Warne: Faces tough schedule.

A second Covid-19 outbreak this season in the Millers camp led to the postponement of Saturday’s trip to Brentford, and tonight’s game at Luton Town.

The Brentford trip has been re-arranged for April 27, and although no date has been set to travel to Luton, the following midweek is the last the club has free outside of the fortnight set aside for international fixtures.

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Rotherham are in the Championship relegation zone, three points adrift of safety, but by tomorrow night should have three games in hand on the five teams directly above, which includes Huddersfield Town.

Rotherham have also had games postponed due to a waterlogged (Derby County) and frozen (Queens Park Rangers) New York Stadium pitch. They have 14 left.

It is understood that the four or five players who tested positive last week will miss Coventry’s visit, but provided the outbreak has been confined, the game should proceed. Rotherham have closed their training ground, and all Football League clubs undergo twice-weekly testing.

December’s match against Barnsley went ahead after players were allowed back into training after nine days, as opposed to the usual 10 for isolation, following testing.

The Football League plans to end the regular season as scheduled because there is still space in the calendar, with delays potentially impacting on this summer’s European Championships. They will review the situation if that changes, but there is no set trigger – for example, clubs having to play three times a week.

Aitor Karanka, manager of Birmingham City, directly above the relegation zone, complained: “They (Rotherham) are going to play maybe when the other teams know their positions.”

That will always be the case in any season, and any advantage will surely be cancelled out by the fatigue of fixture congestion, and lack of group training ahead of the game against relegation rivals Coventry.

The League investigates all Covid-19 postponements and gave Grimsby Town a suspended fine when lax protocol enforcement stopped games against Bradford City and Hull City being played as planned.

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