Barnsley have two first team players and a member of the coaching staff isolating after positive Covid-19 tests but are hoping the 'disappointing' cancellation of Sunday's Boxing Day match is the only time they miss a game.

The Boxing Day game was postponed because scheduled visitors Stoke City had nine players test positive for Covid.

Barnsley's next game is at Blackburn Rovers on Wednesday of next week, when the players isolating with Covid-19 are expected to be back in contention. One is not a regular in the first team but the other is.

Head coach Poya Asbaghi said: "We have two positive tests from first team players and one from the staff. They are alright but we have to follow the protocol."

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More than half of last weekend's matches in the EFL and Premier League were called off, while Welsh clubs must now play behind-closed-doors. But games in England are still scheduled with full crowds, as long as they have a Covid pass, and the football authorities have said they will persevere with the fixture schedule rather than pausing the season.

Asbaghi said: "I hope and think that people who make decisions make the best decision for what is safe and also for protecting the league so it can go on on a fair and good way. Let's hope that, in the long run, we can play games without them being cancelled. I will trust the people in decision-making roles.

"This situation has been going on for nearly two years now. It affects clubs in terms of having players available or losing money from not playing games or not having fans in games. We need to progress in a way where we protect players and the people who come to watch, and of course we want to play football games. I think we have done everything we can to protect both."

Asbaghi says he grew up watching English Boxing Day football on TV in Sweden and is frustrated not to be part of it.

"It's disappointing for me personally, it would have been my first Boxing Day and I wanted to see the atmosphere. For the players, for sure, they were really looking forward to it and especially the fans. It's tough to cancel a game on this traditional date but, at this point, we know a lot of things we have taken for granted in the last two years have not been happening."

Barnsley now have 12 free days between last Friday's draw with West Bromwich Albion and Wednesday's game.

Asbaghi said: "We will use these extra days to keep training on the things we know we have to improve. Even though this game was cancelled we have a game on Wednesday which is a short time."