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Taylor Welcomes New EFL Testing Programme
Friday, 8th Jan 2021 11:46

Assistant manager Stuart Taylor has welcomed the introduction of twice-weekly Covid-19 testing in the EFL but is unsure whether there should be a circuit-breaker hiatus to the season and says players “possibly” should be given priority regarding vaccinations but doesn’t anticipate that being the case.

Yesterday, it was confirmed that EFL players will be tested twice a week from now on, manager Paul Lambert having been among those the express their frustration at the sporadic testing in the EFL since football’s return.

Taylor says he welcomes the move, which will be funded by the PFA: “We’re still to wait for full information on that and what it actually requires, but we welcome it without a shadow of a doubt. We’ll add it to our process and our protocols and what we already have in place.

“[Physio] Matt Byard’s been fantastic, I’ve said that a few times now, he’s been brilliant since July. Everything he’s set up, the players have stuck to it, the staff have stuck to it. We had two isolated cases earlier on in the season which confirms that he was doing everything right because that never spread.

“But before Christmas, we don’t know what happened, we don’t know how it got out because our protocols were the same. Whether a couple of people have picked it up outside, in their own personal life and brought it back into the club somehow, we don’t know.

“Certainly we welcome the new testing and hopefully it helps every club and keeps more negative cases coming in.”

He added: “I think every club is different. I think some clubs do need the help, and I think most clubs need help whether it be financial or whether it be on a medical aspect of getting more tests done. Certainly we'll definitely be open to that because the more help we can get the better.

“At the end of the day we just want to make sure that everybody's safe and healthy and if it means it's another tool in our box adding to the process and the protocols of what we've got, then we'll take it on board definitely, and hopefully it helps us find more negative cases, and that just gives assurance that we're doing things right.”

All the first-team squad and staff were tested for Covid on Tuesday with all results negative.

Regarding the calls for a circuit breaker in football, which both Lambert and Byard have supported, he added: “There's pros and cons for it, it's what we did last year which stopped it, but [the season] never started back up again.

“I think it's a case of making sure that every club looks after themselves and do their testing and if they've got any positive cases then they must isolate those players, and I think if everybody sticks by those protocols, then there shouldn't really be a need for any break or circuit breaker or anything like that.

“But if they did, I could understand if they did it because obviously they're looking after the bigger picture in England down that health side.

“So I guess I'm sitting on the fence on that. I'm fine either way, I just want to go and play games, I want to win games and make sure the club is in a position where we can go up. Simple as that.”

Does he believe there a case for players to be given higher priority when it comes to be vaccinated? “It's a good comment. Possibly, but speaking to the doctor about that a couple of weeks ago, we're probably one of the last to get the vaccine because it is seen as being that footballers are fit and healthy and young and therefore can fight off any illness that they get in regards to Covid.

“They're not affected as badly as older people or people who are vulnerable from a previous illness or anything.

“So we're probably seen as being the last ones to get it, but they are all good points to be made for discussions and there's certainly people that are more educated and more experienced in the medical side than me.”

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