Burnley players "frustrated" by late Watford postponement

Matt Lowton admitted the late postponement of Wednesday night's key clash with Watford was "frustrating."

Matt Lowton
Matt Lowton

The Burnley squad were having their pre-match meal, around two and a half hours before kick-off, when they were informed the game at Turf Moor was postponed due to an "ongoing COVID-19 outbreak" within the Watford squad.

It was the latest in a number of Premier League, and Championship games, to be called off due to rising coronavirus cases, but Burnley were not particularly happy with how late in the day a decision was made.

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Watford, who stayed overnight at the popular Crow Wood facility, are believed to have informed the Premier League of their situation around 2 p.m., with the league meeting at 4 p.m. to come to a decision, which they told Burnley of only 15 minutes before the announcement of the postponement.

And, speaking ahead of Saturday's scheduled trip to former club Aston Villa, Lowton said: "Yeah, it is very frustrating, we'd done all the work building up to it, get to the game and obviously you're ready to play.

"It was a big game for us, we knew that - we took a good point at the weekend against a good side so we were looking forward to it.

"We were sat eating the pre-match meal when the sports scientist came in and said it was off, so very frustrating.

"We were having a conversation five minutes prior where we'd read no more games would get called off for COVID, Under 23s would have to be drafted in and things like that, and five minutes later we were told it's off.

"I get they had travelled and had a lot of cases, and it is what it is, but we were none the wiser as to when it could be called off, we just have to be on it, the game is going ahead, and we have to think like that until told different."

Brentford boss Thomas Frank has called for a circuit-breaker to try and halt the rise in cases, and Lowton added: "It seems to be becoming more frequent - we can't control it, we can only do what we can do here, we train as if the game is on, we are professional in that respect, and we have to be ready for the game.

"It's not been a great last couple of years for everyone, but you can only do what you can do to try and avoid it, but it's quite rife at the moment, people are getting it and not knowing, so it's hard, but you have to do what you can to look after yourself and your family.

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"We have the protocols in place already around the place, we test, we have masks, distance, but it can still happen.

"As a club and the whole Premier League, I'm sure we'll be re-doubling our efforts to make sure they stop any cases so games can go ahead."

Burnley now have two games in hand, after their home game with Spurs was postponed due to heavy snow a couple of weeks ago, and Lowton said: "We knew with the snow the other week there was a chance it could be off, which is unavoidable, and last night we got told two and a half hours prior, out of nowhere. Unavoidable again, I suppose, but it was a completely different way of it happening.

"It might happen a bit more frequently now with what's going on in the world, but all we can do is prepare for the game as if it was on."