Michael Carter has called on Wakefield supporters to give the club some leeway as Covid problems have left their squad depleted once again ahead of Friday’s clash with champions St Helens.
One Wakefield player tested positive for the virus, resulting in a further seven having to stand down.
Wakefield, who haven’t won once since the season restarted, have won just five of their last twenty-seven Super League matches.
That has resulted in some supporters calling for Chris Chester to be sacked. But Carter says more understanding of the club’s circumstances is required, as they deal with the implications of more Covid-related disruption on the eve of a game.
“We ended up having to travel on a private jet to play Catalans Dragons on Sunday,” he explained. To be fair to Catalans, they looked after us. We had no issues at all and in no way am I having a dig at them.
“We also came back on a private plane and had to bring the officials with us, so the fact is some people were just a little closer than they should have been. We get a positive on Monday morning and face ten to twelve standing down due to one positive test.
Right up until this morning we are still in contact with PHE and the RFL about who can and who can’t play. We’ve got fourteen fit players, and three guys out of a group of about five playing rock, paper, scissors to see who is the least injured.”
He continued: “It’s a really tough time at the minute. I just wanted to put some context on what we’ve been through.
“If Cas hadn’t been in the position they were, we would have been the one’s saying to Hull they can play Saints, but Cas had the issue first and we have nowhere to go. We are playing. We’ll have 17 players in the dugout and we’ll give it a go.”
Carter insisted his comments weren’t to encourage games being called off, but to give fans some understanding of the club’s current troubles.
“A lot of this, 99% of this problem is not caused by Rugby League related contact. I’m not getting at that. I absolutely know and understand that we have to fulfil a broadcast deal, and if we don’t we are packing up and going home anyway.
“What I’m trying to get over is that some people, and to be brutally honest that is some of our fanbase, need to understand the issues we are facing because they are giving us no leeway.
“All they are interested in is results. I get that – from a fan’s point of view – but they also have to understand the current issues. This week has been the worst of the lot by far. I don’t think it is rugby league related, but we are having to pay he price because whatever they say we have to do.”