BURTON Albion will travel to Hull on Saturday despite the squad being severely depleted by Covid-19.
The Brewers have enough players to fulfil the fixture but will need to recall players from loan and dip into the Academy to fill the squad.
With six first team squad members having tested positive and more self-isolating after being in contact that leaves Jake Buxton with precious few selection options.
He said: “Everyone who played in the game on Tuesday night against Fulham tested negative so that’s what I have got available for selection along with the lads here on-loan such as Sam Hughes who didn’t play but who come back into the squad and we have had to recall Callum Hawkins from Mickleover and Tom Hewlett from Rushall.
“Neither John Brayford nor Neal Eardley have trained after Tuesday (after picking up knocks) and we will have to see if they are available for selection on Saturday. We are hopeful of both.
“We have enough players to play the game and I believe in everyone who will enter the pitch on Saturday – they will give everything for the football club.”
Buxton explained the extent of the outbreak at the club.
“We have six players who tested positive, and six self-isolating, as well four staff members. The procedures we have gone through as a football club have all been correct. At the training ground and around the football club we are social distancing, wearing face masks and doing all the right things, but ultimately it was only a matter of time before it came into the group.
“We did a mass testing on Tuesday and that was the results that came back.
“This is going to be an ongoing situation for the next couple of weeks.
“I have spoken to all the players who have tested positive and they are all OK. They have mild headaches, some are more ill than others, but it’s more concern about taking it home to their families.
“It would have been ideal to have had two weeks away and come back but we do have enough players to compete. It’s a challenge at this moment in time but we have to deal with it.
“We have enough attitude and character to go and perform away at Hull on Saturday. Reece Hutchinson, Owen Gallacher and Ben Hart played really well on Tuesday, along with Ciaran Gilligan who has been outstanding since coming into the first-team fold.
“I told the lads this has to galvanise us as a group. It’s tough when influential players are missing but that means there is an opportunity for others to step up. I have been in changing rooms with a freak injury list and we are in a similar situation now.”