Blackpool boss Neil Critchley is looking for signings but has ‘total belief’ in the squad
Saturday’s clash at Oakwell was thrown into doubt earlier this week when the Tykes postponed their midweek game against Stoke City due to a Covid-19 outbreak.
As of now, the Seasiders have not received further details on how the outbreak will affect Saturday’s encounter.
Speaking This Morning about Barnsley’s postponement, Critchley said: ‘My heart sank, there were raised eyebrows too.
“Obviously they had a tough FA Cup draw (against Barrow) which went to extra time last Saturday and were facing three games in a week.
“We found out on Monday morning that they had positive tests, but we are still waiting now.
“I believe they are testing again today and we are awaiting news on how that testing is going. Once we do I am sure we will receive clarification from Barnsley and the EFL.
Until this news is known, the Seasiders will continue to train as normal as they look to get back to winning ways after last week’s FA Cup disappointment.
For fans, however, Critchley admits they’re going to want an emphatic answer one way or another.
Asked about the need for rapid news, Critchley said: “I think for supporters more than anyone given their plans and preparation in terms of travel cost.
“For us, it doesn’t change too much. We will prepare as if the match is going on, so we won’t do anything different until we hear something different.
“In our minds right now, the game is on and we will prepare as if the game is happening.
“We want to play. Without repeating myself, every time we were able to enter the field, we played.
“We have never canceled a game for Covid issues and we want to keep playing.
“We are prepared, we want to play on Saturday. If other matches are canceled, you can already consult the list of matches and the upcoming schedule.
“Teams that progress in the FA Cup – unfortunately it’s not us – will miss another weekend, so you may start to see potential issues with the fixture list congestion in the second half of the season.
“Hopefully we don’t fall victim to this after putting our bodies on the line and doing what we thought was the right thing to do during a really disjointed Christmas period where we were all in but kept playing.
“We hope not to be a victim of that in the second half of the season.”
While the Blackpool squad are currently depleted by injuries, no new positive Covid cases have been reported so far this week.
But as always there is the caveat that both clubs will test today and tomorrow ahead of Saturday’s game.
“We had a few players who missed last week’s FA Cup game, but those players are now back in training,” Critchley said.
“Everyone had a good state of health this week.”
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