Preston North End's focus now on Boxing Day following Millwall postponement

Preston North End will turn their attention to the Christmas programme of fixtures after the Millwall game fell victim to Covid.

By Dave Seddon
Thursday, 16th December 2021, 12:30 pm
Updated Thursday, 16th December 2021, 12:36 pm

The visit to The Den was postponed by the EFL late on Wednesday afternoon.

Several cases of Covid had been recorded among the Millwall squad and support staff, with their training ground having to be closed.

North End trained on Thursday as normal and will do so on Friday ahead of a now blank weekend.

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Preston North End manager Ryan Lowe and assistant Mike Marsh on the touchline at Deepdale

They are set to resume action – the Covid situation permitting – on Boxing Day against Sheffield United at Deepdale.

It is understood that PNE were alerted by Millwall on Wednesday afternoon about the Covid cases they had.

At that stage, permission had been sought by the Lions for the game to be called off but not yet granted.

It needed the green light from the EFL which came through at teatime.

North End were said to be understanding of the situation at Millwall, with there being the likelihood of other games around the country falling victim to Covid as the virus spikes.

Ryan Lowe’s squad had been due to travel to the capital by train on Friday afternoon, with the usual overnight hotel stop.

Testing at EFL clubs is being ramped-up now, it not having been compulsory this season.

The Millwall game was due to the first one North End fans would have had to show a vaccine passport or proof of a negative lateral flow test.

That would have applied to those over the age of 18.

Those measures apply to all grounds with a capacity of 10,000 or more and will start at Deepdale on Boxing Day.

Millwall boss Gary Rowett has outlined the situation in the Lions camp.

Rowett said: “We’re had a number of player positive cases, a number of staff positive cases, a number of under-23 positive cases.

“It’s been a difficult one because at first you think you can manage some numbers not being there but then you realise actually we’ve got quite a serious case. I think it would be well into double figures.

“The difficulty is you want to crack on and play games of football, I’m sure we’re all fed up of calling off games off with Covid, games not going on.

“We’ve clearly got a bit of an epidemic in the club and we need to make sure we’re safe.

“Most of the players have fairly mild symptoms but it clearly shows this new variant is more transmissible.”

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