Exclusive: Hutton drops critical Villa squad claim after major development
Alan Hutton has suggested the thought of playing a Covid-stricken Newcastle United side would have been playing on the minds of the Aston Villa players.
The former Villa and Scotland defender, speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, insisted there would have been some concern among the dressing room after an increase of Coronavirus cases among the Magpies’ squad.
As confirmed on Tuesday afternoon, Friday night’s game between Villa and Newcastle has been postponed after several positive Covid tests forced players into self-isolation the north east side to shut their training centre.
❌ #NUFC's fixture at Aston Villa on Friday has been postponed following a significant increase in Covid-19 cases at the Magpies’ Training Centre.
A new date and time for the game will be confirmed in due course.
— Newcastle United FC (@NUFC) December 1, 2020
Hutton insisted that the Villa squad would have remained professional in the build-up to Friday’s game but that there would have been a concern among the players if the game had gone ahead.
Asked if he thought the Aston Villa players would have any worries about facing a Newcastle team amid the breakout on Tyneside, Hutton told Football Insider: “I think it’ll be in the back of your mind but also on the flip side, I think you have to be professional.
“You can only do what you’re able to do and that’s concentrate on yourself and then train well throughout the week. I think if it does get to a situation where it gets worse, then obviously the FA and stuff will step in, there’s protocols there depending on how many people have been infected so they will take over.
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“As it stands, it’s always a worry. If you go and you’re playing any team that’s got a number of players who are out with it, you obviously think there’s a higher risk of you possibly contracting the disease.
“Yes, of course it’s in your mind but you just have to take it one day at a time. The people will step in when they have to and let you know what’s going to happen at the weekend.”
Villa lost 2-1 to West Ham on Monday night to leave Dean Smith’s men in 10th, while Newcastle sit one point and three places behind after a 2-0 win over Crystal Palace.
In other Aston Villa news, Hutton has ripped into a West Ham star who “didn’t look up to the fight” on Monday.