With Rotherham United forced to call off two more games due to Covid, fixture congestion is becoming an ever-increasing problem.
Last time out, Paul Warne’s men picked up a historic victory over Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsborough. Like me, I’m sure the Millers faithful are still on a high after that win.
By now, I am definitely into triple digits for the number of times I have watched Freddie Ladapo’s winner. John Breckin saying “Nah then Freddie” just has a permanent place in my mind now!
With this result, Warne and his players would have been chomping at the bit to play again. They were due to travel down south to face promotion-chasers Brentford this weekend.
This would have been an almighty test. But on the back of their derby victory, the Millers would not have cared about that.
Sadly, Rotherham have had to call off this game, as well as Tuesday’s clash with Luton, as there has been another Covid outbreak at the club. This is the second time this has happened this season as they were also forced to postpone games in December.
READ | Luton Town trip also postponed following confirmation of positive cases.
— Rotherham United (@OfficialRUFC) March 5, 2021
Warne confirmed after the win over Sheff Weds that Richard Wood was unavailable as he was self-isolating. It is unclear yet if this was the route of the second outbreak.
First of all, I just wish the players and staff affected a speedy recovery. All Millers fans love having games to look forward to. Yet in the end, the health and wellbeing of players and staff is paramount, especially during the Covid-era.
Hopefully, Rotherham are able to return to action next Saturday against Coventry. The news of this outbreak is very untimely for the Millers, as it will create even more fixture congestion in the coming weeks.
The South Yorkshire outfit have now had four games postponed this season due to Covid. They are quickly running out of gaps in the schedule if any more games get cancelled…
Rotherham United remaining fixtures:
- Saturday 13th March – RUFC vs Coventry
- Tuesday 16th March – RUFC vs Watford
- Saturday 20th March – Bristol City vs RUFC
Two-week international break
- Friday 2nd April – Millwall vs RUFC
- Monday 5th April – RUFC vs Wycombe
- Saturday 10th April – Huddersfield vs RUFC
- Tuesday 13th April – RUFC vs QPR
- Saturday 17th April – RUFC vs Birmingham
- Wednesday 21st April – RUFC vs Middlesbrough
- Saturday 24th April – Barnsley vs RUFC
- Tuesday 27th April – Brentford vs RUFC
- Saturday 1st May – RUFC vs Blackburn
- Tuesday 4th May – Luton vs RUFC (To be confirmed)
- Saturday 8th May – Cardiff vs RUFC
As you can see, there is now only one free midweek remaining that Rotherham can play Luton. If there are any more games postponed before the end of the season, the club will have a big problem to deal with.
Luton have a few international players in their squad, so they will be unwilling to play that game during the two-week break at the end of March.
Whether playing then is allowed for Championship sides is an argument in itself. But knowing how the EFL are with Rotherham, they probably would not allow it anyway!
This really is a gruelling run for any team, but especially for Rotherham who have been hit by injuries and Covid more than most.
A slight positive to take from this is that Joe Mattock, Jamie Lindsay, Chieo Ogbene and Clark Robertson should be available for two extra games with the trips to Brentford and Luton taken into account.
As Warne said during that brilliant clip after the victory at Hillsborough, there are 14 cup finals to come for Rotherham United before the season ends.
It will be tough but this set of players have the character and work rate needed to cope with the demands of this run. Whatever does happen, everyone watching on from home can be proud of their team this season as they continue to give absolutely everything to stay in the Championship.