SHREWSBURY Town chief executive Brian Caldwell admitted the FA have "really come up trumps" by finding a way for his side to face Saints next week.

The League One club were forced to postpone their scheduled FA Cup third-round trip to St Mary's at the weekend after coronavirus spread through their squad.

However, after many days of discussions, a solution has now been found with Shrewsbury in line to take on Saints on Tuesday evening (8pm), with Ralph Hasenhuttl's side's scheduled Premier League trip to Leeds on Wednesday being rescheduled to make way for the contest.

Whichever side progresses will then host holders Arsenal a few days later in the fourth round.

"It’s been a long week since we started having all the positive COVID tests and as the week went on, we really thought we would have to end up forfeiting the game, which obviously we didn’t want to do," Caldwell explained to iFollow Shrews.

"But if the choice was putting anybody’s health at risk or forfeiting the game, it would’ve been forfeiting the game.

"We’re delighted that over the last number of days we’ve had a lot of discussions with the FA, fair play to them, they’ve really come up trumps and tried to make this happen. I think the last thing they wanted to see was a team forfeiting and it’s great we’re being able to play.

"There’s been a lot of discussion between the two clubs – ourselves and Southampton – the FA, the Premier League and their medical advisors too.

"There’s been a lot to take into account. Obviously there was a concern of would we be able to field a team when they’re putting off a Premier League game, which we totally understand. But having looked at the situation really closely, with the squad we’ve got, with the players now coming out of self-isolation as of Thursday, hopefully then being able to do some form of training on Friday, we can start to prepare for the game.

"It’s great news that we’re getting this opportunity to play in the FA Cup and I think it’s good for the competition as well because it keeps that integrity of the competition in tact too."

Discussing his conversations with the FA over the past week, Caldwell added: "From the number of calls I’ve had with the FA over the last seven days, it’s almost like speed dial we’ve been on, back and forward trying to gather information. Fair play to them, obviously it’s gone to the PGB (Professional Game Board), but we’ve also got to be grateful to the Premier League and Southampton too.

"The Premier League are putting off a live Premier League game on the Wednesday against Leeds with Southampton so fair play to them as well. But they've taken on board that both ourselves and Southampton wanted to play the game if it was at all possible.

"It came to light that they needed the game played prior to the next round, so therefore the only feasible date was Tuesday night.

"It gives us our chance to play against a Premier League team, away from home and hopefully put on a show."