Coach Carlos Corberan pushed hard for a bigger Huddersfield Town squad this season and even before the new Championship campaign has kicked off it is clear why, with a possible Covid-19 outbreak putting his team for tomorrow’s game at Derby County into doubt.
The Terriers were hoping to discover yesterday evening if any of those who faced Yorkshire rivals Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsborough last week have the virus.
“Some of the players who played in the previous game have shown some symptoms and went through some tests which created some doubts,” confirmed Corberan yesterday.
“I can’t give any confirmation (of numbers or identity) because we don’t have any confirmation yet. Depending on the results we will prepare for the game.
“Until everyone has the second vaccine the situation won’t be under control. Our players are young players and young people are the last to get the vaccine.”
Injuries much more than illness ravaged Town’s squad in the second half of last season, prompting Corberan to ask for and get a deeper pool.
Pipa, Aaron Rowe and Rolando Aarons will miss tomorrow’s trip to Pride Park through injury, and like many English clubs, Covid has affected Huddersfield’s pre-season preparations.
Fraizer Campbell, Danny Grant and Rarmani Edmonds-Green, since loaned to Rotherham United, all contracted the virus. They are now recovered but Grant’s slower progress is likely to keep him out tomorrow.
“On top of all the normal injuries if you lose a player with Covid you know as a minimum he is going to be out for 10 days,” said Corberan. “But it could be 15, 17, 20 days or even more and it can affect the normal performance level of the player because it affects some players more, others less.”
Although the Football League only requires clubs to test players when they exhibit symptoms this season, the Terriers routinely do so twice a week, with anyone showing symptoms sent for more.
Huddersfield, who yesterday loaned Matt Daly to Hartlepool United, treated the game against the Owls with the respect it merited as a competitive cup tie, so the team selected for it can be assumed to be what Corberan considers his best.