Neal Ardley explains Wes Thomas situation amid Notts County striker’s Covid fear – Nottinghamshire Live

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Wes Thomas is refusing to train with the rest of Notts County’s squad after raising fears about the coronavirus pandemic.

Boss Neal Ardley told a press conference today that the former Grimsby striker had informed the club of his concerns during a meeting earlier this week.

The forward, who has been absent from first-team duty since November, has now been given a bespoke fitness programme to keep him fit but he will do so in isolation which will be overseen by club staff.

Ardley said the club was sympathetic to the forward’s concerns about the pandemic, but it is unlikely he will play in any of Notts’ games for the foreseeable future.

“Wes has come into see us because he has concerns over Covid,” he said.

“He has refused to train with the group amid safety fears at the moment.

“He has come to see us and tell us that he does not feel comfortable. As a club we need to look carefully at doing the right thing given the pandemic is bigger than all of us.

“We have accepted his request, and are looking out for him and his concerns.

“We have put a bespoke programme together to keep him away from the group for the time being until things do get a bit safer and he feels like he can join back in with the group.

“It’s unfortunate but you have to respect his feelings about it and that’s what we are doing as a club.”

Thomas has played just four games for Notts this season but had impressed on each occasion registering two assists in a 3-1 win over Altrincham in the early stages of the campaign.

But the forward’s momentum was interrupted after Covid ripped through 75 per cent of the squad and he was one of the players to have contracted the illness.

He did return for the 1-0 defeat against Aldershot in November, but has not played since.

But Notts fans had been eager to see Thomas return given he was a pivotal figure for Ardley’s side last season when his 12 goals ensured they finished third in the National League.

Ardley has not ruled out a return, but says much of it depends on Thomas having pointed out the number of Covid cases are rising significantly due to a new strain of Covid.

That has led to a raft of tougher restrictions being imposed on the rest of the country and Ardley said: “It’s going to be personal thing for Wes in repsect of as and when he feels safe.

“We will do the right thing by Wes which is important and we will make sure we look after his safety and that of his family.

“We will keep him ticking over and hopefully he will come back into the fold when the time is right.”