Doncaster Rovers boss Darren Moore on player welfare concerns

DONCASTER ROVERS manager Darren Moore admits that he has concerns about players’ welfare going forward if the English Football League programme continues to be disputed.

Doncaster Rovers boss Darren Moore.

A number of clubs, including several in League One including Sunderland, Peterborough, Portsmouth, Ipswich and Bristol Rovers have returned positive tests in the past few weeks and have been forced to postpone fixtures due to Covid-19 outbreaks.

EFL officials have stressed that they have no plans to put the season on hold due to the situation.

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The postponements will add pressure to already congested league programme, which could be made worse by any inclement winter weather which forces further games to be called off.

It is a far from ideal scenario as Moore acknowledges, with player health at the forefront of his thoughts.

Yet he does not expect much to realistically be done about it by the governing authorities.

Moore, whose side welcome a Shrewsbury Town side who last played on December 15 this evening, said: “There is lots of pressure to get this season done, but it does not take into account the players welfare and that is where I am coming from - the players’ physical and mental state to be performing at a high level and asking physical demands of them.

“That is my biggest thing, Being a former player myself, I know the demands what it takes on the body.

“The fixtures are piled up upon us and we don’t know what the winter is going to hold and that is a major concern for the football authorities and there could more postponements to games with the weather and another surge with the pandemic, which we are in at the moment.

“First and foremost, it is about the health and safety of everybody. It goes without saying that we have to make sure everyone is safe and well.

“If we are and can continue, then (let’s) do so.

“It is what it is, You have heard umpteen managers up and down different divisions complain in terms of the fixture list and about the soft-tiusse injuries and we are the same.

“We play a team (Shrewsbury) who have had a good moment of rest and it will be a really tight game and they have had time to work on things.

“No matter how much we complain or give our professional insight, it is going on deaf ears. From the governing bodies’ point of view, there are league fixtures and a season to fulfill by hook or by crook and make sure they are getting done and chalked off so we can complete the season.

“We have to get on with what we have got to face.”