'It's A Worry' - Exclusive: Top pundit frets over Leeds postponement
Leeds United won’t be the only club to struggle with fixture congestion as postponed fixtures pile-up — something must be done to address the situation.
That is according to former Elland Road man and boyhood Leeds fan Noel Whelan, speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge as fixtures are rescheduled to accommodate coronavirus-related postponements.
As confirmed last week, the Whites have had their league game with Southampton, due to be played on January 20th, pushed back to a later date after the Saints’ FA Cup tie with Shrewsbury was also postponed following a rush of positive Covid-19 cases at the League One club.
📰 Next week's Premier League clash with Southampton postponed, new date to be announced in due course
— Leeds United (@LUFC) January 13, 2021
Whelan believes clubs of Leeds’ stature will be hardest hit as their squads don’t have the requisite depth to deal with so many games in such a short period of time.
Whelan told Football Insider: “Well I think it’s important that we don’t have too many backlogs.
“I think the thing is right now we don’t have a squad big enough and capable enough to deal with so many games coming up in quick succession, I think that’s a worry for a lot of clubs, not just Leeds.
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“I think it’s got to be looked at, it’s okay for the bigger clubs who have got internationals and their bigger squads to rotate and do these sort of things but I think our kind of club, right now, it’s just not there.
“It’s so important that we don’t have game after game after game and chasing because the league’s hard enough as it is, we’ve seen that, we can play up against certain teams, there’s other teams that are superior to us in terms of money and players at their disposal.
“That’s one thing that we really don’t want, coming into this second part of the season, is a fixture pile-up and having to cram games in and having to try and get players fit and keep them fit.
“So I think the FA, the Premier League really have to have a look and be sensible about the whole situation.”
Leeds are not the only team to have had Premier League matches rescheduled in recent weeks.
Aston Villa vs Newcastle was pushed back after a Covid-19 outbreak in the Villa camp, as was Everton vs Manchester City following a similar spate of cases among City players and staff.