Bristol Rovers’ game with Scunthorpe in doubt after positive cases recorded in Gas camp

Joey Barton revealed today that the Gas’ game on the weekend is unlikely to go ahead. (Photo by Alex Burstow/Getty Images)Joey Barton revealed today that the Gas’ game on the weekend is unlikely to go ahead. (Photo by Alex Burstow/Getty Images)
Joey Barton revealed today that the Gas’ game on the weekend is unlikely to go ahead. (Photo by Alex Burstow/Getty Images) | Getty Images
The Gas were set to travel up North this weekend but their game is in serious doubt after returning positive cases

Bristol Rovers manager Joey Barton has cast doubt on whether their game with Scunthorpe United will go ahead.

The Gas have six to seven positive cases in the squad and are awaiting further tests from other players.

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They are already down a number of players due to long-term injuries whilst Cian Harries and Sam Finley are both suspended.

“It’s a concern, we’ve had a few positive cases. The game is probably in doubt now,” he said to BBC Radio Bristol.

“Imminently. I think we’ve had six to seven and we’ve still got PCR results pending on a few others.

“We really are down to the bare bones if you factor in the ten or eleven injuries we have, as well as a couple of suspensions.

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“It’s certainly going to stretch us if the game does go ahead on Saturday. We’re in liaison with the medical guys and the doctor, who are liaising with the league. We should have some movement on that in the next hour or so.”

The EFL yesterday updated their protocols for all 72 clubs across the three divisions to minimalism the spread of Coronavirus.

No pre-match handshakes will take place whilst all conferences will now take place on Zoom.

Fans are also instructed to provide a COVID-19 Vaccine Passport or proof of a negative lateral flow test.

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The EFL’s stance on games is that they should go ahead if a club has 14 first-team players and a goalkeeper.

Four fixtures have already been called off in League Two, whilst the three divisions above them have also had a similar number of games postponed.

As Rovers await a season from the EFL and Public Health England, the team will continue to train until told otherwise.

“We’ll continue as normal with the group that we have got with the lads that are available,” Barton said.

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“We’ll train and prepare as if the game is going ahead but I’ll be very surprised if it does.

“The Premier League have lost a number of games and it looks like there have been a number of games in our division that have gone in the last 24 hours with a few more probably before kick-off tomorrow.

“You have to be careful, the last thing you want to do is spread it, fans coming to stadiums and make people vulnerable. Football whilst it’s not ideal and we’re coming off the back of a win, there are more important things in life than fulfilling a fixture list. We’ve got to make sure people’s safety and well-being is the number one concern.”

In response to Joey Barton’s comments, opponents Scunthorpe say that the match is still scheduled to go ahead tomorrow. Their manager Keith Hill was only made aware of Rovers’ positive cases during his pre-match conference.

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A statement from the Lincolnshire club said: “We are aware of reports coming out of Bristol Rovers’ press conference this morning regarding positive COVID cases within their team. At this time, we have received no communication from Bristol Rovers or the EFL to suggest the game is in doubt.”

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