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Football Reporting


Sheffield United boss Wilder ‘wouldn’t be surprised’ if Crystal Palace match is postponed due to coronavirus

The Blades boss is hopeful that his squad can be boosted in the January transfer window

Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder has admitted he would not be surprised if his side’s game against Crystal Palace on Saturday was postponed on account of a surge in coronavirus cases.

The UK has seen a huge rise in the number of positive coronavirus cases in recent weeks, and multiple Premier League games have been called off as a result.

Tottenham’s match with Fulham earlier this week was the most recent game to be postponed on account of cases in the Cottagers’ squad, while Sheffield United’s clash with Burnley went ahead despite positive tests among Blades players and staff.

Wilder’s squad were tested on Thursday, and results will be returned on Friday.

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Despite no new individuals showing symptoms, Wilder feels that given the surge in cases in the country it would not surprise him if the Palace game were to be postponed.

“I think the way it’s sweeping the country, I wouldn’t be surprised,” Wilder said in response to whether he felt the game at Selhurst Park could be called off. “It’s starting to grow. Obviously after the Christmas period as well.

“I wouldn’t be surprised over the round of testing now that there’ll be more positive tests up and down the country in professional football and the Premier League.”

There have been calls for a circuit break to get the situation under control. Wilder did not offer his views on such action, but said he would be governed by Premier League directives.

“It’s obviously ramped up enormously and the speed of what’s been happening over the last eight weeks has changed the situation in the country,” he said. “As always, we’ll play with a straight bat, we’ll do what the Premier League wants us to do.”

Wilder’s Blades are propping up the Premier League with two points from 16 games, and are the only team in the division without a win to their name.

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It is a dire situation, but Wilder is hopeful his squad can be boosted in the January transfer window.

“We do need in my opinion to make the group better,” he said. “Over to the chief exec and the board for them to make their decision or to pursue the targets we’re looking at and the positions we’re looking at.”

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