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Steven Gerrard to miss Aston Villa's next two matches after testing positive for Covid
26/12/2021 09:42:50

Steven Gerrard will miss Aston Villa's next two matches after testing positive for Covid-19.

The Villa boss is forced to stay away from the home clash vs Chelsea on Boxing Day as well as the trip to Leeds United on December 28.

The club said in a statement: “Aston Villa can confirm head coach Steven Gerrard will be unable to attend our next two Premier League matches with Chelsea and Leeds United as he will be isolating after testing positive for Covid-19.”

Villa's last match against Burnley was among the list of fixtures to fall victim to the recent rise in Covid cases and was postponed by the Premier League.

One saving grace for Gerrard could be that the match vs Leeds could also be called off given their trip to Liverpool has been axed due to a Covid outbreak in their squad.

Gerrard has been vocal about the Covid crisis Villa have been battling recently, and explained how it was impacting his 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’s got a young family, and you can totally understand his view in his situation,” Gerrard said.

“This is a guy who’s got a young family, it is Christmas time, and that’s the situation everyone is in. No one wants to get this virus. Everyone wants to protect their own families. This is our job and your priority is always going to be your family, of course it is.

“Thankfully he was tested after and he didn’t have a situation, but that player would not have been available for me on the day, and these are the little situations that people don’t see. We’ve got a major responsibility to listen to the players and deal with every situation as it comes your way.”

The Premier League moved to postpone three fixtures on Boxing Day - Liverpool vs Leeds, Wolves vs Watford and Burnley vs Everton - due to Covid cases at some of the clubs involved.

A meeting was held on Thursday between league chiefs and managers of the 20 top-flight clubs, but appears to have made little progress in easing recent tensions.

Tottenham manager Antonio Conte agreed it was a waste of time, adding: "It was [like talking to] a wall and for this reason I also prefer to not go into it.

"If I have to be honest, it was a meeting that we tried to speak and some coaches tried to speak, to ask about solutions but I think everything was decided," he added

"Because when you have a wall in front of you, you can speak and ask what you want but every decision was taken."

That was a view shared by former Villa boss Dean Smith, now at Norwich, who said: "We went into a [Premier League managers'] meeting yesterday where the decisions had already been made, so I think we had already missed the boat in terms of decision making.

"They [the Premier League] decided the season would continue as was and we have got to fulfil fixtures now, so we have to cope as best we can."

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