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Underwood insists Slough Town's COVID concerns aren't because of club's poor league form

Slough Town might have raised concerns with the league about playing matches at present, but joint boss Jon Underwood has denied this is to do with the side’s poor form in National League South.

By their standards last season’s play-off contenders have made a poor start to the season, picking up only nine points from 10 matches so far.

But, Underwood says it’s right for clubs to follow the protocols put in place by the league and FA, and says six of the top nine clubs in the division have had to postpone matches due to COVID issues.

He said the club would be competitive when they return to action, probably at Dulwich on January 9, and added that they were mearly posing the question of whether it is safe – and right – for clubs to be playing matches at present.

“I’ve seen the comments from people saying that it’s the clubs that maybe aren’t doing so well, like ourselves to be honest, don’t want to play,” he said. “But the reality is that six of the top nine clubs have had COVID issues. If teams are following the right protocols they have to report cases.

“We’re talking about positive test results here, I’m not sure what else we can do. One of your biggest priorities as a manager is player safety. We have to follow the protocols that are set out, as frustrating as that is, because we all love our football and, although results haven’t been brilliant, getting out three times a week has been really important to me personally. Having something to focus on when there is little else to do has been a real positive for me.

“But as we got towards Christmas and the cases started going up it started to feel more and more that it’s not right what we’re doing.”

He added: “As soon as we’re ready to play again we’ll be as up for it and as competitive as anyone. It’s not that we don’t want to compete, but we also have to follow protocols.”

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