WAYNE Rooney says Rotherham United should have given Derby County more notice before calling off last Saturday's Championship clash between the two sides at the 11th hour.
The Rams were en route to AESSEAL New York Stadium when they heard the news that the game wasn't going ahead because of a confirmed case of coronavirus and other suspected ones in the Millers camp.
A Rotherham player had tested positive for Covid-19 before the weekend and two of his teammates reported they were experiencing symptons on Saturday morning, leading to a 'match off' announcement 85 minutes before the scheduled 3pm start.
"It was a shame the game got postponed," Derby interim manager Rooney said in a press conference today. "We wanted to play the game. We were in a good run of form and we were a little bit disappointed we weren't notified earlier on Rotherham's situation.
"Less than two hours before kick-off was the first we heard of anything in terms of Rotherham having a player with Covid-19 and the game getting called off. It was frustrating and disappointing. But the players' safety and health is more important."
The Millers' request for a postponement was approved by the EFL after discussions between the club and two doctors attached to the governing body.
One of the players who said he was ill on Saturday morning went on to give a positive test later in the day, while three of his teammates were found to have contracted the virus yesterday, meaning Rotherham's Boxing Day trip to Middlesbrough has also fallen victim to the pandemic.
All the players and staff are now self-isolating.
Meanwhile, Rooney, despite his irritation, could see benefits in last weekend's fixture not being played.
"It gave us a bit of an unexpected break," he said. "The lads have played a lot of games over recent weeks.
"We gave the players a bit of time to spend with their families, and get some freshness back in their legs and minds. They have done that and they have come back to training and looked really sharp."
Rotherham have yet to reveal whether the home match with Barnsley on December 29 will take place. They were in talks with the EFL today.