City chief on Barnsley Covid call offs and 'circuit breaker' talk

Norwich Head Coach Daniel Farke during the SkyDaniel Farke's Norwich City face a Barnsley side missing four players due to...

Daniel Farke's Norwich City face a Barnsley side missing four players due to a coronavirus outbreak in the Tykes' squad - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Limited

Norwich City have no fears facing Barnsley, after the Tykes suffered a coronavirus outbreak ahead of Saturday’s Championship trip to Norfolk. 

Captain Alex Mowatt and three other team-mates have stayed in Yorkshire but Daniel Farke has no concerns at his players sharing the same pitch at Carrow Road. 

City loanees Timm Klose and Rocky Bushiri have both previously tested positive for coronavirus, while Marco Stiepermann had to isolate during the Premier League run in after a positive initial test result. 

“The Marco case was more or less one of the first in football. There was a lot of panic. We don’t underestimate it now but we are bit more used to living with the pandemic,” said Farke. “We have to look after people’s health.

"But we all know people who maybe have had it or had to deal with it. That is not nice to experience. 

"Everyone has to expect in these times there might be games you can’t play with your full squad or there are problems with the preparation.

"At the very beginning when we started the testing there was uncertainty but there is no need to panic. We try to create a safe environment for our players and if any had concerns about this then we are quite open.

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"They know they can speak to us. It is not like we have a big stick to get them to go out and train.   

“I send the Barnsley lads all our best wishes, and hope they return to full fitness in terms of their health. We don’t wish this situation on any club.

"From what I have heard they are okay in terms of symptoms. But we are living in these times. Football is just a small part of society and this pandemic is still a huge topic.

"You would expect there are cases in football and we have to deal with it.” 

The Championship fixtures at Luton and Brentford are the latest to be postponed this weekend, following on from Premier League games at Manchester City and Tottenham in recent days. Farke understands why calls are growing for a ‘circuit breaker’ pause to the football season. 

“If we have to do it, we deal with it. I totally trust the key people. Football has to make the right decisions and it is not black or white,” he said. “There is trial and error. If the decision was to break for two or three or four weeks then we deal with it.

"I don’t see it at present because my gut feeling is the pitches and the training grounds are one of the safest areas in the entire country.  

“We have to be so disciplined with our behaviour. If the numbers continue to increase and we have to stop then we will deal with it." 

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