Frank Lampard has revealed that a couple of non-playing Chelsea staff have tested positive for coronavirus but he believes Sunday’s clash with Manchester City is still going ahead despite a mini-outbreak among Pep Guardiola’s squad too.
The two sides are due to meet at Stamford Bridge on Sunday but preparations in both camps have been disrupted by the new surge in cases.
Frank Lampard has revealed some of Chelsea’s staff have tested positive for Covid-19
They await more results on Friday after an emergency round of testing, with Lampard revealing Chelsea have been affected, too.
‘I haven’t been given the chances of the game being postponed, I’m just aware of the situation and at the moment the game is on,’ he said.
‘We know Manchester City had some positives within their training ground and we’ve had a couple ourselves but not on the playing staff and that’s the current situation.
Those positive tests were revealed this week and when asked how safe he and his players feel, Lampard added: ‘Probably as safe as the public because of the new surge in numbers. Relatively I think we feel the same, what we are is in probably a more protected environment – certainly in the work place… we’re now being tested twice a week, I think that’s really important. I don’t understand why we went down to one.
‘It seems to me the situation at the minute is we’re going game by game – the games being called off have been because of positive tests around that game itself. And I understand that. Let’s just see how it goes, it’s uncertain times.’
Some figures – including Sam Allardyce – have called for a circuit break following the rise in cases, while the likes of Jurgen Klopp have stressed the role football can play in helping boost people’s morale.
There was an outbreak of coronavirus within Pep Guardiola’s Man City squad earlier this week
Kyle Walker and Gabriel Jesus tested positive for Covid as well as three unnamed players
‘I’m not sure on that one,’ Lampard said. ‘I understand it – if you love football, you love watching the amount of games you get to watch at home. But I think safety has to be paramount.
‘The fact we have a couple of staff positives mean there a lot of people working at Chelsea, within our bubble, who have babies, parents, friends, sisters, brothers, grandparents, and they come here to go to work and then they go home and are in the environment where we’re in another surge of Covid which seems to be more contagious… so I think safety and security is absolutely paramount as opposed to keeping the nation’s spirit up – I know that might not be a nice thing to say but these are tough times for everybody. We enjoy watching our football but safety and health has to come first.’
The Chelsea boss said any decision on pausing the season must come from the authorities – including the government.
‘I have to say the Premier League and the clubs themselves have done everything they can to make the environment as safe as possible but we’re finding that’s not always easy to do when people go home, leave the building and the numbers are going up – particularly in London where we are,’ he said.
‘I think that’d have to be for the authorities – the government, the Premier League, everybody – to be clear that it’d be beneficial to stop.’
Chelsea will be without Reece James for Sunday’s clash. He misses out with a hamstring problem but Hakim Ziyech could be fit to start.