Allardyce insists he didn't say football 'must have circuit-breaker'

Sam Allardyce insists he did not say the Premier League ‘must have a circuit-breaker’ amid Covid pandemic, stating that his comments were ‘misconstrued’ as two West Brom players test positive for the virus

  • Two West Brom stars tested positive for Covid on Sunday and entered isolation 
  • Further tests were conducted on Wednesday and all came back negative 
  • Training ground was closed for deep clean as virus continues to cause disruption

Two West Brom players tested positive for coronavirus on Sunday and entered self-isolation.

After the training ground was closed for a deep clean, further tests conducted on Wednesday all came back negative.

However, as the virus continues to cause postponements and disruption, Baggies boss Sam Allardyce said previous reports that he wanted a ‘circuit-breaker’ to the fixture list were ‘misconstrued’.

West Brom’s Sam Allardyce insists he did not say Premier League ‘must have a circuit-breaker’

Two unnamed West Brom players tested positive for Covid on Sunday and entered isolation

‘I said that if the science was right then it would be a good thing, and then I was portrayed all over the papers as saying we must, and that wasn’t the case,’ he said.

‘I am obviously, and we all are, concerned about the spread of this virus, and for everybody’s safety.

‘We’re back to testing twice a week, using masks and sanitiser and we speak to the players to make sure all protocols are followed.

Aston Villa have closed their training ground after a significant Covid outbreak at the club

FA Cup ties impacted by Covid outbreaks

Chorley vs Derby 

 – Interim boss Wayne Rooney and the entire Derby first team squad will miss the third-round tie. The Championship side are set to field youth players so they don’t have to forfeit their place.

Southampton vs Shrewsbury

– The game was postponed after the League One club recorded 10 positive cases. Shrewsbury hope the match can be rescheduled with FA officials set to meet next week to decide.

Brentford vs Middlesbrough

The third-round game at Brentford was plunged into doubt after Boro reported a number of positive tests. Their Rockliffe Park training headquarters have been shut since Monday, with further results expected on the weekend after tests on Thursday.

Aston Villa vs Liverpool 

Discussions are ongoing between medical representatives at Villa, the Football Association and the Premier League about whether the match can go ahead after an outbreak in the Villa squad. Villa had to cancel Thursday’s training and have closed down their training facilities due to high number of cases.

‘We had a handful this week, but we’re comfortable with where we are at the moment and looking forward to playing in the FA Cup at Blackpool.’

Last month West Brom manager Allardyce said: ‘Everyone’s safety is more important than anything.

‘When I hear this variant of the virus transmits 70 per cent quicker, we can only do the right thing, which would be to have a circuit breaker.

‘I’m 66 and the last thing I need to do is catch Covid-19. Probably players will overcome it but it’s more difficult for someone like me so so I’m very concerned for myself and football in general.

‘We had one positive case this week. The virus seems to be creeping around no matter how hard we try.

‘If (a circuit-breaker) helps let’s do it and let the season run a little longer when we get through it.’

The Premier League wrote to all 20 clubs earlier this week to tell them they will not stop the season with a circuit-breaker lockdown.

However Liverpool’s FA Cup tie at Aston Villa is in doubt following a coronavirus outbreak at the Midlands club as a number of third-round matches continued to be affected. 

Derby will face Chorley on Saturday with a mixture of Under 23 and Under 18 players as interim-manager Wayne Rooney and a number of first-team players and staff are isolating after a Covid outbreak at the club.

And Saturday’s clash between Southampton and Shrewsbury is off after a significant number of Shrews players and staff tested positive for Covid-19.

Newcastle’s Premier League clash against Villa on December 4 was the first top-flight fixture to be postponed following an outbreak at the Magpies. While Manchester City’s match at Everton on December 28 was called off as well as Fulham’s fixtures at Tottenham and Burnley since due to coronavirus.

West Brom manager Allardyce also ruled out a move for Newcastle striker Andy Carroll

Meanwhile Allardyce ruled out a move for Newcastle forward Andy Carroll. He said he was also in the market for a striker but, asked if he was looking at a move for Carroll, he said: ‘No. I’m looking for a front man, but I don’t believe Andy is available at the moment.

‘Steve (Bruce) like everybody else needs all his options at this particularly difficult time.

‘I’m not looking at Andy. I am looking at a front man and hopefully that will be coming through the door as quickly as possible, but that would be from abroad rather than this country.’

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