Steven Gerrard will not be in the dugout for Aston Villa’s next two Premier League matches after testing positive for Covid-19, the club has announced.
“Aston Villa can confirm head coach Steven Gerrard will be unable to attend our next two Premier League matches with Chelsea and Leeds United as he will be isolating after testing positive for Covid-19,” the club revealed in a statement.
The news comes after Villa’s home game against Burnley last weekend was postponed due to the high number of positive Covid-19 tests among the Villa squad.
The Villan’s meeting with Chelsea stands as one of only six Premier League games still scheduled to go ahead on Boxing Day.
Gerrard’s side’s fixture at Leeds on 28 December may soon be postponed too, however, after the Yorkshire club reported a Covid outbreak and subsequently saw their trip to Liverpool on Boxing Day called off.
The Premier League also agreed to postpone Wolves vs Watford and Burnley vs Everton on due to the ongoing outbreak.
Steven Gerrard has been vocal about the Covid crisis as Villa navigate the situation.
“We had a situation at the weekend where one of the players was reluctant to get out of his car because he had some symptoms and he’s got a young family, and you can totally understand his view in his situation,” Gerrard said.
“This is a guy who’s got a young family, it is Christmas time, and that’s the situation everyone is in. No one wants to get this virus. Everyone wants to protect their own families. This is our job and your priority is always going to be your family, of course it is.
“Thankfully he was tested after and he didn’t have a situation, but that player would not have been available for me on the day, and these are the little situations that people don’t see. We’ve got a major responsibility to listen to the players and deal with every situation as it comes your way.”
In total, 25 Boxing Day games across the top four divisions of English football have been postponed after two more Football League matches were called off.