Steven Gerrard says concern about Covid-19 has reached a level where an Aston Villa player has been reluctant to get out of his car.
The outbreak at Aston Villa forced their match against Burnley last Saturday to be postponed at short notice, and Gerrard says it would be a “nightmare” if the club had to deal with two games in two days with just 14 players.
“We had a situation at the weekend where one of the players was reluctant to get out of his car because he had some symptoms and he has a young family, and you can totally understand his point of view on his situation,” Gerrard said.
“This is a man with a young family, it’s Christmas time, and this is the situation everyone is in. Nobody wants to get this virus. Everyone wants to protect their families. This is our job and your priority will always be your family, of course it is.”
“Thank God he was tested after that and had no situation, but that player wasn’t available to me that day, and those are the little situations that people don’t see. We have a big responsibility to listen to the players and deal with every situation when it comes your way.”
Gerrard was speaking on a day when Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson said player welfare was not taken seriously in England and Arsenal coach Mikel Arteta said players’ concerns should be heard.
Premier League clubs collectively agreed on Monday to continue the season. Villa is due to host Chelsea on Boxing Day and travel to Leeds two days later. Asked how they would manage them if they only had 14 players, Gerrard said: “I hope we’re not in that situation, but we’ll need a little luck; we’ll need some test results to go our way.
“I hope we’re not in this situation, but if you are, it’s a nightmare, and simple as that.” The Premier League will host virtual meetings of managers and captains on Thursday to hear their concerns.