Published: 20:00, 26 September 2020
| Updated: 21:10, 26 September 2020
Manager Steve Evans says he’s taking a zero-tolerance approach to Covid-19 after making the decision to leave Gillingham defender Christian Maghoma out on Saturday.
The 22-year-old is self-isolating after coming into contact with a person who has tested positive for the virus and Evans was taking no risks. The defender has been tested and is expected to find out the result on Sunday.
The Covid-19 lockdown and current restrictions have hit football hard and with infections now increasing, it is starting to have a direct impact on football players and staff. Two games in League 2 were postponed this weekend because of confirmed cases and a third went ahead despite positive tests at Stevenage.
Evans knows it is inevitable that someone will test positive at the club but is doing all he can to keep it out.
He said: “It was unfortunate to lose Maghoma because of the Covid situation. We will get a result tomorrow.
“Mags has no symptoms, there is no drama here, he could have come in but it was my decision. I have zero tolerance here.
“I have got babies in that dressing room and I have responsibility for them all. I have to do what is right and I will do what I would hope someone would do for my kids.
“As sure as eggs are eggs we will have players who will catch the virus. We have to try and find it early.
“Our players are given temperature checks every morning, we do all that we can do physically, we just have to make sure we are all over it.
“We will have issues, I am not saying we won’t, but we have to do what we believe is right. This is about people’s live, this is a nasty virus, it’s stopped that Rainham End bouncing on Saturday but we have to respect it and be taking the advice that is right for all of us.”
Leyton Orient were one of the teams who have been hit hard by the virus after 17 positive tests among players and staff.
Football League clubs don’t have to test their players for the virus but Orient had been due to play Tottenham in the League Cup and the Premier League side paid for them to take place. Once the outbreak had been identified the game was called off and Spurs were awarded the tie.
Grimsby Town have shut down their training facility for 14 days after a player received a positive test. Their game with Cheltenham was postponed and they are unlikely to play they next two fixtures either as others within the club self-isolate.
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