Fans not being able to return to football stadiums in the near future has been labelled a devastating blow by Town boss Richie Wellens.

Speaking to BBC Wiltshire ahead of Burton’s visit to the County Ground this weekend, Wellens believes that a pumped in atmosphere isn’t the same as having real fans at the stadium.

Town have experienced both in their first two league games. The home match against Rochdale feature speakers playing crowd noise to try and improve the atmosphere at the County Ground after two silent defeats in cup games the week before.

Then last week, during Town’s 2-0 away loss at Blackpool, 1,000 fans were allowed into the stadium as part of a government trial.

But with Covid-19 cases on the rise, new restrictions brought in for potentially the next six months means fans could now be waiting a while to return.

He said: “I think it was a devastating blow for football. The fact that supporters are not allowed in, especially when you see people in pubs and supermarkets and they’re in an enclosed environment and still walking past each other.

“I think Blackpool dealt with it very well last week. There’s one-way systems everywhere, no one’s bumping into each other, the areas are clearly marked and to get just 3,000 at our ground it’s easily doable.

“So long as people are safe and responsible I just can’t see the problem with us trying to move on.

“But it is what it is, Boris has made a decision and unfortunately we won’t be seeing supporters any time soon.”

Not only does the lack of fans stop the creation of an atmosphere, but Wellens believes it can have an effect on how the players perform too.

He added: “It’s difficult for everyone. It’s really difficult for players, especially when you play a style of football where you want you played to be intense and on the front foot.

“When you ask them to play like that it gets to 70 minutes and the players energy levels are dropping, the supporters play a massive part in that.

“The extra five per cent in the last 15 minutes when you’ve got the game by the scruff of the neck, the supporters can help you kill a game off.”