Could Rotherham United’s heavy fixture list give Sheffield Wednesday an advantage after rival boss brands it ‘unfair’?
Sheffield Wednesday’s relegation rivals, Rotherham United, have 14 Championship games left to play, but probably not 14 fixture slots in which to play them…
The Millers have been unable to build on their big win over the Owls after a COVID-19 outbreak at the club saw the postponement of their games against Luton Town and Coventry City, and it’s set to create a fair bit of fixture congestion for Paul Warne’s side.
Rotherham are set to play Watford and Bristol City this month before the international break coming up at the end of March, but after that have already got a jam-packed schedule of pretty much a game every three or four days.
It’s thought that there is a chance of the Championship strugglers playing a game during the upcoming international break, however would be dependent on whether either of their opponents are open to it and the potential impact of any international players not being available.
Wednesday are very much reliant on those above them dropping points in the coming weeks if they’re to stand any chance of maintaining their place in the division, and Warne will not be ecstatic at the potential of playing four games in the space of a week and the burnout it could bring with it.
However another rival boss, Aitor Karanka, has stated that he thinks the postponement is unfair for the clubs around them, suggesting that it gives Rotherham an advantage rather than a disadvantage.
He told the media, “This is another thing that is curious, those three games in hand, the second time I think they have postponed games for the Covid situation.
“They are going to play the games maybe when the other teams know their positions and it isn’t going to be the same.
“Now, for example, we played them after seven or eight games, they are going to play the games when they are rested, they are going to play against Brentford, maybe they are in the Premier League and or they are already in the play-off positions.
“It is something the EFL need to check because I don’t think it is normal, it is unfair.
“Our club hasn’t had one game postponed because we are looking after ourselves… It isn’t the first time that Rotherham is having the same problem. When you are making one mistake, maybe, but the second one I think for me is not fair.”
While the English Football League has stated that they will be looking into the reasons for the COVID outbreak at Rotherham, there are also discussions taking place with regards to when Rotherham and Coventry can fit in their games after the Luton match was rescheduled for May 4th.
A game around the international break this month could prove a logical step in order to keep the season ticking over without asking players to play four games in a week, but if that isn’t agreed upon then it could give the Owls and their fellow rivals a minor advantage should Warne’s side get hit by the fatigue and injuries that often come with too many games in a short space of time.