Darren Moore expecting absences for Doncaster Rovers' FA Cup tie with Blackburn Rovers
Darren Moore expects to have several players absent from his Doncaster Rovers squad when they visit Blackburn Rovers this weekend in their first game back after the outbreak of Covid-19 at the club.
The squad has this week returned to training gradually after a period of quarantine following five of the players testing positive for the virus.
Moore says those who contracted Covid-19 appear to be okay but will be monitored closely, with some likely to be absent from Saturday’s FA Cup tie, which will be the club’s first match since December 22.
The Rovers boss will be permitted to name nine players as substitutes in the FA Cup but does not expect to have the personnel available to do so.
“Not everyone will be available for the game on Saturday,”he said.
“We’re still assessing everyone.
“When we get there I don’t think everyone will be available.
“It’s difficult to say because we’ve been filtering them back in this week. They’ve not all returned as a group.
“A couple more came back in on Thursday and there’ll be a couple more on Friday.
“They’re being integrated back in slowly.
“They seem okay but we’re training and then looking for any adverse reactions going forward.
“As much as they’re back in, we’re constantly asking them how they’re feeling.
“Even though they’re back in, the procedure is about how they’re feeling afterwards and in the days that follow.
“We’re in that process with them and at the moment, with the last couple of days, they’ve been okay.
“But there’s always more coming in for their first and second days of training so we’ll see how they go.”
Moore is not too concerned about the condition of those players in his squad who were merely self-isolating due to contact with the positive Covid cases, and says the focus in training has been on helping them to rediscover their match sharpness.
“In the sessions we’ve looked for them to get the feel for it again,” he said.
“They’ve looked fine and they’ve coped with what we’ve put in front of them.”
The squad and coaching staff were tested for coronavirus on Thursday as required by all sides in the FA Cup at this stage. Results will be received on Friday.
From Monday, Rovers and the other 71 clubs in the EFL will begin mandatory testing on a twice-weekly basis after the Professional Footballers’ Association agreed to fund the programme for the remainder of the season.
And Moore believes the move is a vital one.
“It’s needed because we need clarity for everyone,” he said.
“The mere fact the PFA are doing that is great. I’m really pleased to hear they’re supporting the clubs.
“At our level, in League One and League Two, it is much, much needed.
“In these next coming months, with the multitude of games and the travelling, everything else going in, these tests are needed so everyone is clear on where we’re at.
“I’m pleased they’ve taken the step to show the commitment to the clubs.”