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Steven Gerrard: Covid fear made the Aston Villa player “reluctant to drop out” | Aston Villa

Steven Gerrard says fear of Covid-19 has reached such proportions that an Aston Villa player was reluctant to get out of his car.

An outbreak at Villa forced their game against Burnley to be postponed last Saturday, and Gerrard says it will be a “nightmare” having to play two games in three days with only 14 players available.

“We had a situation at the weekend where one of the players was reluctant to get out of the car because he had some symptoms and he had a young family.

“This is the guy who has a young family, it’s Christmas time, and that’s the situation everyone is in. Nobody wants to get this virus. Everyone wants to protect their own family. This is our job and your family will always be your priority, of course it is.

“Luckily he was tested after that and had no situation, but this player would not have been available to me that day and those are the little situations that people don’t see. We have a great responsibility to listen to the players and deal with every situation that comes your way. “

High profile managers will meet with Premier League executives on Thursday to voice their concerns about the current wave of Covid and to discuss possible changes to the process to protect players and cadres.

An agenda for the meeting had not yet been agreed on Wednesday, but both sides are expected to set out their positions ahead of the Boxing Day games. On Monday, club owners agreed to continue playing despite the recent Omicron wave from Covid that resulted in 10 Premier League games being canceled, but new testing procedures were agreed and the possibility of new rules for unvaccinated players was discussed.

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Villa is due to receive Chelsea on Boxing Day and travel to Leeds two days later. When asked how they would do it if only 14 players were available, Gerrard said: “Hopefully we won’t be in this situation, but we need a bit of luck; We’re going to need some test results to go our way. Hopefully we won’t be in that situation, but if you are, it’s just a nightmare. ”

Gerrard spoke on a day when Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson said player welfare is not being taken seriously in England and Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta said player concerns should be listened to. Henderson is expected to express his views at a Premier League meeting on Thursday with captains or senior players from all 20 clubs.

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