Middlesbrough’s FA Cup third-round trip to Brentford thrown into doubt as Championship club report a number of positive covid tests with training ground shut since Monday
- Middlesbrough face a trip to Brentford in the FA Cup third-round on Sunday
- Its Rockliffe Park training headquarters was effectively shut down on Monday
- Testing of first-team players and staff was conducted on Monday and Thursday
Middlesbrough’s preparations for their FA Cup third round trip to Brentford have been hit by positive coronavirus cases.
The Sky Bet Championship club has revealed its Rockliffe Park training headquarters was effectively shut down on Monday after the first-team staff and players were tested, and a further round of testing, which also included under-23s players, was carried out on Thursday morning.
A statement on Boro’s official website said: ‘Our Emirates FA Cup preparations have been hit by positive tests for Covid-19 among first team players and staff this week.
Middlesbrough’s preparations for their FA Cup third round trip to Brentford have been hit by positive coronavirus cases
The Championship club’s Rockliffe Park training centre was effectively shut down on Monday
‘A round of testing was undertaken by the club of its own volition at the start of the week and a number of positive tests were returned.
‘As a result, the training ground has been effectively closed since Monday and the first team have been unable to carry out any work on the Rockliffe pitches ahead of Saturday’s FA Cup trip to Brentford (6pm).
‘Further mandatory tests took place on Thursday morning with the results expected ahead of the weekend. The club’s under-23 squad also joined the first team squad and staff in undergoing tests ahead of the cup tie.’
In addition to those who have tested positive, Boro boss Neil Warnock is already without Jonny Howson, Ashley Fletcher, and Grant Hall, who are all sidelined with injury.
A club statement said ‘a number of positive tests were returned’ this week
The outbreak at Boro comes after one at Derby which has forced the entirety of Wayne Rooney’s first team to miss Saturday’s tie at Chorley.
Seven members of staff and players at the club tested positive for Covid-19 this week, but in order to fulfil the fixture against National League North opposition, Derby will field a side from their under-23 and under-18 squads.
Sportsmail understands Gary Bowyer and Pay Lyons will take charge of the team.
Rooney and the first-team are self-isolating as a precaution after a serious outbreak of coronavirus that has seen their training ground closed until Tuesday next week.
Southampton’s FA Cup tie with Shrewsbury is also in doubt after the League One club confirmed a number of positive Covid-19 cases among their players and staff.