Sarina Wiegman has revealed that she has been fighting off the fever of Covid to help England prepare for Wednesday’s Euro 2022 quarter-final with Spain. The Lionesses boss tested positive for the virus on Friday, but has continued to work with the team from a distance and is wearing a mask.
At the same time, the bubble around the players has been tightened with a strict testing procedure in place for any of the auxiliary staff who need to deal directly with those likely to feature in the game at the Amex Stadium.
Even so, Hannah Hampton tested positive for Covid after reporting symptoms at the team’s luxury Lensbury retreat and will remain in isolation while the rest of the squad travel to Brighton.
However, by battling through the ill-effects of the disease herself, Wiegman has ensured the best possible planning has gone into a tough match against the pre-tournament favourites.
“I just had a little bit of a temperature and a little coughing, but not too bad.” she said.
“I’ve been involved in all the manoeuvres and all the training – I’m just seeing it from a big distance with a mask on and making sure that I don’t get close to people. Of course you can always observe real closely and sometimes give a message through the technical staff.
“We set a workflow that just goes so fluently, that everyone knows what to do and, and we’re connected anyway. But around the squad, we just tried to make the bubble more tight. And if people come into our bubble we they have to test before they come in.
“And of course everyone has to take responsibility and anyone who doesn’t feel well needs to tell because we really want to stop getting positives. But we have experienced COVID for the last three years, two and a half years. So it’s not totally new for us.
“Of course you don’t want it at the Euros but it’s not new. So we know what we have to do.
“That mostly has to do with staying calm with the ones who can play and didn’t test positive and continue what we’re doing. That’s now preparing for Spain and playing this game.”
Unless she gets the all-clear, Wiegman will not be allowed in the ground with the team for the match under UEFA regulations. But she is happy to rely on the system that worked so well on Friday night against Northern Ireland.
“Yeah, we had a line, so I was in contact with the technical staff all the time during the game watching the game,” she said. “Of course, from here, so we stay connected all the time and, if necessary, that’s what we do again.”