Neil Warnock: Middlesbrough manager tests positive for coronavirus

Middlesbrough have announced that manager Neil Warnock has tested positive for coronavirus.

A club statement issued on Thursday morning confirmed that the 71-year-old returned a positive test following the club’s 2-0 Carabao Cup defeat on Tuesday, and will now remain in self-isolation until he has recovered.

The statement read: “The club can confirm that our manager Neil Warnock has returned a positive test for Covid-19 and will be spending a period in isolation in accordance with guidelines.

“Neil is in good spirits and we look forward to welcoming him back after his period in isolation.”

Warnock was not in the dugout for Boro’s second-round defeat by Barnsley on Tuesday as he watched the game from the executive box at the Riverside, leaving first-team coach Ronnie Jepson in charge of pitchside matters.

Jepson said: “Quite a few players were playing together for the first time so it was a good opportunity for our gaffer to see the lads and try and get one or two up to speed.

“Sam Morsy came in and he’s only played 70 minutes in the last couple of weeks so it was good to get him in.

“Overall, it was positive and I thought in the second half we grew into it a little bit and got on the front foot. The main aim was to give people minutes and give everyone a chance.”

Warnock’s assistant, Kevin Blackwell, is expected to take charge of Saturday’s Championship clash at home to recently-relegated Bournemouth.

The fixture has been selected as a trial game for the gradual return of supporters following the coronavirus pandemic, with 1,000 fans set to be admitted on Saturday.

Warnock was appointed as Middlesbrough boss in June on a short-term basis but, after keeping the club in the second-tier, he signed a deal to remain in charge for the 2020-21 season.

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