Southampton’s B team have seen their pre-season friendly against Crawley Town cancelled after a Covid-19 case in the Saints squad.
According to Hampshire Live, just one positive test was returned by the B team player but the squad must now adhere self-isolation protocols.
An official statement from Crawley Town’s club website revealed the news officially earlier today, although they did not confirm the reasoning for the cancellation.
Saints’ senior players and the B team have been back for pre-season training since last week and both groups will be preparing for the start of the 2021/22 campaign in around a month.
Complex situation remains for Southampton and other clubs
Saints’ B team now look ahead to three other friendlies against AFC Totton, Salisbury FC and Yeovil Town.
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Although Covid-19 restrictions are set to be eased further in the UK on 19th July, the situation still remains a complex one for football clubs to manage.
The return of a positive case within the Saints B team squad confirms that, despite the UK’s strong response and vaccine uptake, the pandemic is not fully cleared yet.
It is expected that full stadiums will be allowed when the Premier League kicks off in August after a Euro 2020 tournament that saw packed stands, but clubs will be aware that measures to protect fans, players and others will need to remain for some time.
Restrictions in the past meant that Saints players could not train in their usual ways. Access to indoor facilities at their Staplewood campus was not allowed in some cases as the club tried to limit the contact between players.
Ralph Hasenhuttl explained how this was a possible cause of the injuries that plagued his squad last season as players not being able to use recovery pools and other facilities affected their response after matches.
Saints will be hoping for a stable and steady lead-up to their opening game of the upcoming season against Everton on 19th July.