A huge update emerges at Derby County this week makes it even easier for Chorley to cause an upset in the FA Cup this weekend.
It has been reported that Wayne Rooney and the Ram’s first team will MISS this Saturday’s FA Cup Third Round tie at the National League North club amid the club’s Covid outbreak – but the game is expected to go ahead.
Seven members of staff and players at the club have tested positive for Covid-19 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.
And the Daily Telegraph report that interim manager Rooney will not be present with Darren Wassall, the Derby academy director, taking charge of the team.
Had it not been possible for Derby to put a side out in the BT Sport-televised fixture at Victory Park, they may have been forced to forfeit their place in the competition with the Football Association set to decide the outcome of any postponed fixture this weekend on a case-by-case basis.
Rooney along with the first-team are self-isolating as a precaution after a serious outbreak of the virus that has seen their training ground closed until Tuesday next week.
Derby were defeated 1-0 at Sheffield Wednesday in their last Championship fixture on Friday night, a surprise considering the decent form since Rooney was put in sole charge for now.
Since he took interim charge of the club, they have won a total of three games, drawn four and lost two out of nine.
They do remain in the relegation zone of the Championship table, however, only on goal difference from Wednesday. Derby also have a game in hand.
The statement issued by Derby on Monday
“Derby County can confirm that several first-team staff members and players have tested positive for COVID-19.
“Staff members and players were tested on Monday and have subsequently returned a number of positive results.
“The names of those individuals will not be made public for medical confidentiality reasons, but they and their close contacts must now serve a period of isolation at home in line with UK Government guidelines.
“In accordance with Derby County and EFL COVID-19 protocol, the club’s Moor Farm training ground has been closed with immediate effect.
“In addition, the club is in dialogue with the EFL and Football Association in relation to upcoming fixtures.
“This decision has been taken to prevent the spread of the virus and protect club employees and their family members.
“Derby County would like to wish the individuals that have returned a positive COVID-19 test result a quick and safe return to full health.”
Chorley currently sit 10th in the National League, picking up 19 points from 14 games played.
In their last game, they fell to a 4-0 defeat at 4th place AFC Fylde – though did beat 2nd place Chester 2-1 away from home in the previous game to that.
Southampton’s Third Round fixture against Shrewsbury Town is in doubt following an outbreak of Covid cases at the League One club.
Shrewsbury have contacted the FA, who announced this week they will decide the outcome of postponed third round game on their merits.
Fans reacted on the huge update at Derby County which could mean it’s easier for Chorley to cause an upset in the FA Cup this weekend…
National League Chorley welcoming Derby’s U18s like… pic.twitter.com/mkIzyBO4kr
— FIVEYARDS (@FIVE__YARDS) January 6, 2021
Wayne Rooneys Derby Country formerly known as Frank Lampards Derby County
— Alexander Toon (C) 🏆 (@AlexanderToon94) January 6, 2021
@philbeck10: Just forfeit and let Chorley in the 4th round. Not as though Derby will win the thing anyway.
@Lukemorgansays: Wonderful Chorley are 10/1
@ianellis8152: But Man City can get a match postponed for a couple of players getting covid?
@Connor11W: Nah our u18s will deal with them non league farmers
@Sekulalalala: Derby lose. It’s still a major embarrassment
@cv_hammond: The gift that keeps on giving… #dcfc
@JimmyDCFC: Congratulations to Chorley on getting through to the Fourth Round of the FA Cup.
@AdamLordNQ: Mixed emotions for Chorley. Better chance to progress but you wanted Rooney and the big names in town
@roystar11: Best stay away from the grannies for a couple weeks @WayneRooney mate
@AmyMay_F1: Derby County everyone.
@PaulLimbert: Be interesting to know the u23s and u18s available. @bobbyduncan999 masterclass incoming? #dcfc #dcfcfans
@MrJSkitz: fair play to Derby for putting a team out, get experience for their young players
@dilksymatey: Glad I lumped on Chorley at 7/1
@JHAC96: We’ve got some incredibly talented young lads in the 23s & 18s, but what a baptism of fire. Potentially 11 debutants (plus subs) and all kids (apart from 30 year old Ethan Wassall, who must be about due a testimonial soon)