MIDDLESBROUGH have had one positive Covid case in the last seven days with clubs up and down the country feeling the effects of the surge in the Omicron variant.

Manager Chris Wilder confirmed that one person has contracted the virus in the last week. In total, Boro have had three positive tests recently. However, one of those cases won’t be currently affecting the squad after it was confirmed three weeks ago.

The EFL released guidance yesterday that clubs were required to complete fixtures if they had 14 available players, including one goalkeeper, amid the recent surge in cases meaning Boro fall well within the requirements.

Like every football club across the country, Wilder is feeling the strain that the recent surge has put on the game but admits the club are coping well with protocols as always.

He said: “Very very concerning time for everyone.

“Obviously we are governed by the EFL and we’ve had directives off them already.

“I believe pre-me coming here that the record at the football club was extremely good. Very proactive in terms of what we did in keeping the cases particularly low through the period and getting through the period that we all had to do at the respective clubs at the time.

“We’re on it. We’ve got to be smart and we’ve got to be aware. The health of everybody is the biggest factor in all of this.

“Personally and from a football club, we want to keep going and work through this period.

“We’ve had a couple of cases. For me, we’re happy with the protocols we’ve put in place. Considering in the top two divisions, there’s a lot of games being called off over the last seven days through outbreaks.

“We’re very mindful of the fact that we want to make sure that those outbreaks don’t happen here at Middlesbrough.”

When asked whether the cases came from coaching staff or players, Wilder responded: “One coaching staff and two players.

“One was three weeks ago and one is over the last seven days. I think that compared to the clubs in the top two divisions is good going and shows what we are trying to do here, keeping ourselves in the bubble, doing everything we can do to keep the cases through the staff and through the players to an absolute minimum.”

Boro face Bournemouth tomorrow at the Riverside Stadium and manager Scott Parker confirmed on Thursday that the club had no positive cases at the time.

Elsewhere, Boro are confident that Matt Crooks will be available tomorrow and that he has shaken off a knee injury this week.

The midfielder was forced off in the goalless draw against Stoke City last weekend. Isaiah Jones and Duncan Watmore also picked up knocks in the game at the Bet 365 but the Boro boss added that the pair will be good to go tomorrow.

When asked about Crooks’ fitness, Wilder said: “We’re fingers crossed that he will be okay for the weekend.

“That’s good news because Crooksy is a big player for us.

“I don’t think he had his best game last week and then obviously had to come off the park with 20-25 minutes to go which meant we had to have a bit of a reshuffle and move a couple of players about.

“These things happen but fingers crossed it’s nothing serious and he will be available.

“Isaiah and Duncan are both okay to go. We’re not really waiting on anybody, which is good news in a disappointing week for everybody.”