Premier League COVID crisis: Graham Potter makes 'disturbing' claim after outbreak ahead of Man United

A covid-19 and injury-hit Brighton squad are due to travel to Manchester United this Saturday following their 1-0 midweek loss to Wolves at the Amex Stadium
Brighton head coach Graham Potter confirmed their request to postpone the match against Wolves was rejected by the Premier LeagueBrighton head coach Graham Potter confirmed their request to postpone the match against Wolves was rejected by the Premier League
Brighton head coach Graham Potter confirmed their request to postpone the match against Wolves was rejected by the Premier League

The loss extended Albion's winless run to 11 Premier League matches as they dropped to 13th in table - nine points above the drop zone.

Graham Potter's men were also dealt a further blow as key midfielder Yves Bissouma picked up his fifth booking against Bruno Lage's well-drilled Wolves team and will miss the trip to Old Trafford.

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Joel Veltman also tweaked a hamstring during the closing stages and is likley to add to Potter's injury concerns.

Potter revealed Albion were unsuccessful in their request for Wednesday evening’s clash with Wolves – a 1-0 loss – to be rearranged following a Covid-19 and injury crisis at the club.

The Albion head coach believes it will be difficult for the Premier League to continue with the current trend of only some games being deemed worthy of postponement due to coronavirus infections among players.

The depleted Seagulls were without a host of influential players for the game, with top scorer Neal Maupay and Pascal Gross the latest men to join the growing list of absentees.

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Brighton’s scheduled meeting with Tottenham last Sunday Sunday was postponed due to a Covid outbreak at the north London club, while Brentford versus Manchester United and Watford’s trip to Burnley were called off in similar circumstances on Tuesday and Wednesday respectively.

“We asked the question because of our situation,” he said of a possible postponement after the Wolves loss.

“You haven’t really got time to be disappointed (with being turned down). It was about preparing the team, preparing for the game.”

Speaking of the apparent lack of consistency in decision-making, he continued: “You obviously have to think everyone is doing things in the best intentions.

“There will be frustration with that.

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“It would be better if it was more transparent but at the same time you’re talking about medical information so I don’t know how transparent that can be.

“I think the path we’re on, I’m not sure how long we can stay on it for.

“We all want football to continue, want life to continue as best as we can but clearly health is the most important thing.

“We’ve got some issues ourselves and this week has been a little bit disturbing in terms of how quickly we’ve been affected.

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“If that carries on then we’ll have to have some serious thought (about action being suspended).”

Brentford manager Thomas Frank went a step further and called for the upcoming round of Premier League fixtures to be postponed to allow clubs to deal with coronavirus outbreaks.

Frank saw his side’s clash with Manchester United go under on Tuesday as the country deals with the Omicron variant, with Burnley’s match with Watford on Wednesday becoming the third Premier League fixture in a week to be called off.

Frank and the Bees have Covid issues of their own to deal with ahead of a Saturday trip to Southampton and the Dane would like to see a break in play to help manage the situation across the league.

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“We think we should postpone the full round of Premier League games this weekend,” he said on Thursday morning.

“Covid cases are going through the roof at all Premier League clubs, everyone is dealing with it and having problems."

Brighton’s winless run in the top flight stretched to a club-record 11 games after Romain Saiss’ first-half volley earned the visitors a deserved victory.

The narrow win lifts Wolves to eighth, with the depleted Seagulls slipping to 13th ahead of Saturday’s trip to Manchester United.

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Speaking of the three-month run without success, Potter said: “There are always concerns when you don’t win and we have to deal with that statistic.

“We’ve had lots of draws in that time. We’ve had some decent performances and some good games when we could have won but we haven’t and you have to deal with the facts.

“We haven’t won for a while and we have to deal with it.”