London (AFP) – England manager Sarina Wiegman is “very hopeful” she will be able to lead her team in Wednesday’s Euro 2022 quarter-final against Spain after contracting coronavirus.
Wiegman missed Friday’s 5-0 group-stage victory over Northern Ireland following her positive test.
Her assistant Arjan Veurink has been taking training since then, with Wiegman watching from a distance with a mask on.
Asked on Tuesday if she would be back on the bench for the Spain clash in Brighton, Wiegman told reporters: “I’m good, I’m feeling well. I’m actually ready to go, but still have to wait.
“Of course I’m very hopeful but we’ll see what happens, and we do know if I can’t be there I’ll be around in another way.
“We had a line so I was in contact with the technical staff all the time during (Friday’s) game, watching it of course from here (at the team’s south-west London base). So we stayed connected all the time. If necessary, that is what we will do (on Wednesday) again.”
Wiegman said her symptoms had been “a little temperature and a little coughing, but not too bad”.
“It’s not the worst nightmare, just a situation we have to deal with. I’m around and still doing my job. I’m just doing things virtually or outside from a big distance with the mask,” she said.
The Football Association announced earlier on Tuesday that reserve goalkeeper Hannah Hampton had tested positive for Covid, the second player in the England squad to do so during the tournament after defender Lotte Wubben-Moy.
Wiegman, who confirmed every player aside from Hampton was available for Wednesday, is hopeful the virus outbreak will not become more severe as England try to win the tournament.
“We’re really aware and very careful. We’re trying to stay in our bubble and do the right things, and hopefully we keep everyone fit,” she said.
“We did some more strict measures, and everyone understands. We’re just trying to make the bubble more tight. If people come in, they have to test before.”
England are strong contenders to lift the trophy after powering through the group stage with 14 goals scored and none conceded in their three victories.
Spain are ranked a place above England at seventh in the world, but they lost stars Alexia Putellas and Jennifer Hermoso to injury just prior to the Euros.
“We did well in the group stage but don’t have anything yet, and we just focus on the next game,” Wiegman said.
“Spain are a very good team, we are too, and we just want to play the best game we can and hopefully that will bring us the win.”
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