BRADFORD (Park Avenue) boss, Mark Bower, has reiterated his willingness to continue with the current Covid heavy schedule.

The new strain of Omicron variant is causing havoc up and down the country, and sport appears to be drifting towards an unexpected mid-season break.

But despite his side missing a number of key players in their 2-2 draw against Guiseley on Tuesday due to the current climate of the game, Bower is fully behind the continuation of football in this country.

He said: “You don’t want to moan about the current situation because every club is suffering with Covid and injuries during this hectic schedule.

“But unfortunately for us, Isaac Marriot was sold in the week, Simon Richman was injured and Nicky Clee had Covid, so we instantly lost three midfielders which would have played in the Guiseley game.

“It’s difficult but that is part of football, and it’s certainly more so at the minute, with the unpredictable nature of what is going on.

“You are dreading that phone call from the physio to say one of the players has had a positive Covid test, but for now we will just continue to try and get the best possible team out on the pitch. We had a couple of players playing with illness on Tuesday, and we could only get four players on to the bench, but we really don’t want to be postponing games.

“It will only increase the workload for us later on in the season.”

Bower was full of praise for his makeshift midfield in the game against Guiseley, and admitted that there might be more possibilities for fringe players over the coming weeks.

He said: “We had Lucas Odunston come into the side against Guiseley and he put in his best performance of the season. Frankie Maguire from Sheffield United also came into the middle, and he seems to be improving with every game, and Mitchell Lund stepped into midfield and did a very good job.

“So, I believe there will be opportunities for players in a number of different positions throughout the course of the next few weeks.

“A lot of people seem to be getting the illness (Covid), and once a player gets it, they are most likely going to be out for at least a week, so we need to be able to adapt as a side when it does happen."

Avenue return to action tomorrow (15:00) when they travel to York City, and Bower will be hoping his side can go one better this weekend.

He said: "There's enough positives to take out of the draw against Guiseley. We created a lot of chances and worked the space well, however we expect to get fewer chances at York.

"We definitely need to be more clinical and tighten up at the back because York have the ability to punish you. They have great quality throughout the squad and to have a player of Clayton Donaldson's quality on the bench says it all.

"It's certainly a game I'm looking forward to and it's the kind of game our players will look to stamp their authority on.

"I'm expecting a tough fixture, but hopefully we can put on a good show and get a positive result on the road."