Three members of Carlisle United's table-topping squad have tested positive for Covid-19, with a fourth also showing symptoms.

Head coach Chris Beech revealed that the virus had hit some members of his squad.

The four players, who have not been named, were absent from the squad that travelled to Harrogate Town for the League Two game which was postponed because of a power cut.

The three who tested positive will self-isolate for 10 days - forcing them to miss Saturday's game at Mansfield - while the fourth will be tested.

It followed a round of testing on Monday at the club, as part of new twice-weekly tests which all EFL clubs are undergoing, funded by the Professional Footballers' Association.

Beech, speaking after the Harrogate postponement, said: “After I looked at my squad at 10.30 on Monday morning, at 2.30pm it was in a completely different place.

“We had three positive tests, so they didn’t make the squad.

“It’s horrendous. These lads have really behaved themselves. I’ve got players on the telephone saying, ‘Honestly gaffer, all I’ve done is go home, I had to get the train home back to the north-east, spend time with my family, not been out of the house and come back to training on Monday.

“The team sheet would have given away possibilities of who that would have been, and on Tuesday] morning we have a player that’s shown symptoms and straight away he’s not allowed to travel with us, and will get tested, so we may have another one.”

Beech, who also said striker Joshua Kayode was nursing a knee injury, said United would continue giving everything in what is an increasingly challenging climate.

He added: “Currently we’ve got no training ground, and we can’t train outside because local facilities don’t allow us to go on there because of the lockdown, so we’re training in three groups in the Neil Centre.

“Prior to going out to train you’ve got these 20-minute [Covid] tests, to determine who can be available to plan for the game, and by the time you’ve had your tests and planned your session, that’s changed.

“This isn’t Chris Beech moaning, it’s Chris Beech saying that’s exactly how it is. We’re thankful we’re in a position where we can go to work and try and work, but we’ve got to be mindful of the competition itself and the quality of the competition to be able to fight for what you want to try and fight for, which is three points on what you’d try and call a level playing field.

“It’s difficult but if you look at finance, we’re below a level playing field anyway, so we’re always fighting up.”