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INTERVIEW: Mark Robins talks Stoke postponement

Gaffer speaks on Potters postponement...

17 December 2021

With the news of tomorrow’s fixture with Stoke City being called off, Sky Blues boss Mark Robins gave his reaction to the news.

The match would have seen 7th host 6th in the Championship and Robins is ‘disappointed’ the game won’t go ahead after working hard all week, due to a Covid outbreak in the Potters’ camp.

“It’s inevitable from time to time I think, you just don’t know." Robins said.

“The way things have turned, yes, it’s disappointing and it’s difficult because you are sort of in limbo, you hear things then you see things when you’ve still got to prepare mentally as best you can do.

“Mentally things shift, players talk as well about it, so we knew what was going on but it’s disappointing because we wanted to continue to play as it's always a good game coming into the Christmas period, it’s not ideal but we’ve got to deal with it.

“We’ll train today then I’ll give them a couple of days off and then we’ll be in with the lead up to Cardiff but obviously that’s got its own issues because their game with Derby is off as well.”

When ask about the EFL guidelines for such a situation, where a game should be played if a side has 14 fit players, Robins spoke on the realities of that.

“Well, it depends doesn’t it on who the fourteen are, you might have five goalkeepers in that so it just depends.

“At the end of the day it’s a case-by-case thing and whilst you try to do the right thing the fact is this variant obviously rips through a lot quicker than previous ones, it’s just frustrating, really frustrating.

“Ultimately, you’ve got a situation where you’ve got vaccinated and unvaccinated people, the unvaccinated ones are at more risk because they have to isolate for ten days, if they get it or not, by association or because they have had a close proximity to somebody who has tested positive."

The EFL have also issued new guidelines for around the training ground and Robins explained the impact of enforcing the protocols.

“Our building is very difficult to segregate and we’ve tried to mitigate throughout, which isn’t ideal. The Under-23s have been down at the Higgs and training from there to try and limit contact in the building as our building is very tight and corridors are very slim so we try and enforce the rules with mask wearing and players have to be responsible with that and generally they have been.

“There aren’t many that have not had the vaccination fully or going through the process, I don’t think there is anybody who have not had the vaccine and not had the virus so there is still some level of protection because it is within the timescale.

“Even so it is difficult to manage and it's becoming more and more difficult as time goes on and at some point, we are going to end up with cases there is no doubt about it but you’ve just got to try and deal with it as best you can.”

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