Covid has made management harder, says Lewes boss Russell

Lewes boss Tony Russell admitted that management has suddenly become a minefield of difficulties due to Covid.

Action Lewes' Sussex Senior Cup defeat at Isthmian Premier rivals Worthing. Picture by Stephen Goodger
Action Lewes' Sussex Senior Cup defeat at Isthmian Premier rivals Worthing. Picture by Stephen Goodger

With the highly-transmittable Omicron coronavirus variant on the rise, some have called for the 2021-22 campaign to be paused to prevent more positive cases.

Last weekend saw six Premier League and 19 EFL fixtures postponed due to Covid.

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Rooks boss Russell said a potential circuit-breaker, as well as the possible issues regarding a player’s vaccination status, has complicated his job as a football manager.

He said: “I said to the chairman [Stuart Fuller] before the Worthing game, I can see them doing a circuit breaker and shutting it down for a month.

“If they do that, then there’s a massive backlog towards the end of the season. I worked it out, and if they stopped it for a month we’d have to catch up with nine games.

“It’s a hard one because you just want to play football. But on the flip side, it’s a case of who can put out the best side if you’ve got five or six missing.

“I don’t have great faith in the powers that be who run our league. They make such strange decisions, so I really have no idea what the best way forward is.

“If you speak to any manager, you look at the teams and they’ve got one or two on the bench. It’s carnage but everyone is so desperate to play football they’ll just have a go.

“If you lose the game you’re annoyed by it, and you think, I could’ve won that game if I put my full-strength side out.

“But there’s problems within problems within that. I was talking to a manager in our league and he asked me if I knew how many of my players were unvaccinated.

“I said I don’t, because I don’t know if that’s intruding on someone’s privacy by asking whether they’re double jabbed or not.

“But he made the point that if they’re not, and a lot of the youngsters are not, they’ll have to self-isolate if someone within their vicinity gets it. Potentially you could have a player going off for 10 days every other month. Does that then affect players that you sign?

“This management lark is hard enough as it is without trying to manage Covid! That’s a different skill set on its own now.”