Two Mansfield Town players who faced Carlisle United were infected with Covid-19, manager Nigel Clough has revealed.

One of the Stags' starting line-up and a substitute who came on in the game were carrying the virus.

Clough has revealed that Stephen McLaughlin and sub George Maris both had Covid but still played in the visitors' 1-0 defeat at Brunton Park.

“We hadn't released what they had,” said Clough in an interview on Tuesday, as reported by the Chad. “But I just wanted supporters to know that this is what the lads are doing.

“We are all frustrated as we should be in the top seven and closing in on the top three – we know that. But at this moment in time players can't do any more for us.

“We had Stephen McLaughlin starting yesterday and he had Covid. He hasn't trained.

“Him and George Maris have got Covid at the moment.

“They travelled up to Carlisle on their own in the car, isolated in a room and we took food up to them. They didn't get changed in the changing room. They stayed away from everybody. We did all the things we could do.

“Stephen McLaughlin then played for 70 minutes with Covid.

“Both of them felt breathing problems. George Maris came on for the last 10-15 minutes and was the same."

Clough claimed the fact his players played despite the effects of the virus proved they were "giving absolutely everything.”

He added: “Anybody who's had Covid will tell you it's quite debilitating - and that's with not even doing anything.

“People are up and down with it.

“I wish we didn't have this rule about the substitute not coming off at the halfway line as McLaughlin has to walk halfway round the pitch and we didn't think he was going to make it at one point he looked that tired...he was absolutely dead on his feet."

Neither United nor the EFL have commented.

Clubs have been issued different levels of guidance throughout the pandemic, with the latest advice given after the Government's relaxation of Covid restrictions earlier this year.

Data throughout has shown that the risk of transmission between players in games was little to none.

Clubs, though, were advised to undertake their own risk assessments.

It is not yet clear whether United were aware of the presence of two players with Covid in the visiting squad on Monday.