Rotherham return to action on Tuesday when they host Yorkshire rivals Barnsley at the New York Stadium.
Paul Warne’s side saw their home game with Derby and Boxing Day visit to Middlesbrough both postponed due to some positive COVID-19 tests in the Millers squad.
However, following the completion of their isolation period, Rotherham play their last Championship match of the year tomorrow evening, although Millers boss Warne might have limited numbers on his bench against the Tykes.
Rotherham already have a host of long-term injury problems, and with those recently suffering from Coronavirus unlikely to be involved given their lack of training, Warne is facing the prospect of being without a number of first-team players for the Yorkshire derby.
Quiz: Did these 20 things happen to Rotherham United in 2020?
Speaking to the Yorkshire Post, Warne confirmed that he didn’t want to postpone the game and run the risk of his side facing a potential points-deduction in the coming weeks.
He said: “It will be the first game I have been in charge of where I do not know what I am going to get.
“I was advised that if we did not play the game, there would be retribution because I am going against medical advice. The medical advice is that nine days isolation is enough as I have enough players in the football club to get the game on. I do not want it on or to put anyone at risk. But now it is on, there is little I can do but pick the lads up.
“We could have postponed it. But I did not want to happen – which I was led to believe – was come March or April, the Premier League and Championship clubs get hit harder than League One and League Two clubs with Covid postponements and there was a fine because I am going against advice as they are saying the (Barnsley) game is playable.
“There was a fine with a possibility of a points deduction, which I do not want hanging over our heads. Regrettably, we have taken the game on and must try and put out best foot forward against a very good Barnsley side.”
In footballing terms, this is the right decision from Warne.
Whilst the welfare of his players is most important, I believe that fulfilling the fixture is the best outcome for Rotherham.
With a host of absentees, the Millers might only be able to field a weakened side and a limited amount of substitutes, but it’s far better than running the risk of losing points, which could prove crucial come the end of the season, especially with only goal-difference currently keeping the club above the danger-zone.