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Rotherham’s clash with Barnsley goes ahead as Millers fear points deduction

Swansea City v Rotherham United – Sky Bet Championship – Liberty Stadium
(Image credit: Nick Potts)

Rotherham boss Paul Warne has revealed the coronavirus-hit club will play their Championship game with Barnsley on Tuesday to avoid receiving a possible points deduction.

The Millers’ last two games have been called off after an outbreak of the virus in the camp before Christmas and they were keen for the South Yorkshire derby to go the same way, but EFL doctors have ruled it can be played.

That is despite three players still being in isolation, with a fourth waiting on a test result, and one only ending quarantine on the day of the game.

Warne also has five long-term injuries that deplete his squad further and he has said he may only be able to name three substitutes.

But postponing the game would leave the Millers in jeopardy of EFL punishment – most likely a points deduction – and with his side in a relegation battle, Warne was not prepared to risk it.

“We have been hit really bad. I don’t want games off, by the way. But in the circumstances, I feel a little bit on the hard end of the decision,” 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 what 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 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.”