Neil Thompson on plans to reopen Sheffield Wednesday training ground

Neil Thompson. Picture: Steve Ellis.Neil Thompson. Picture: Steve Ellis.
Neil Thompson. Picture: Steve Ellis.
SHEFFIELD WEDNESDAY caretaker manager Neil Thompson is hopeful that the club's training ground will re-open next Wednesday after a significant Covid-19 outbreak.

The Owls closed their Middlewood Road facility at the start of this week, with a club statement subsequently confirming on Thursday that Thompson and interim assistants Lee Bullen and Steven Haslam were among a 'significant number of club personnel' to test positive - and they will not travel to Exeter for their club's FA Cup third-round tie on Saturday.

Academy coach Andy Holdsworth will take the team, while Thompson, Bullen and Haslam isolate back in Yorkshire. Former Huddersfield Town defender Holdsworth will be assisted by backroom staff members Daral Pugh, Nicky Weaver and Tony Strudwick.

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Thompson, whose has presided over two wins in temporary charge against Derby County and Middlesbrough, said: "Hopefully the training ground will open on Wednesday. We have got to see how everybody is."

On having to self-isolate after being laid low by the virus, Thompson, speaking on a Zoom call on Friday morning, said: "It's not ideal. It gave my throat a rest so that might be should a bad thing!

"But above all else, the safety of everyone at the football club is a major consideration. When this hits you, reality sets in a little bit. We have been really good at the club in terms of the infections; the protocols have been in place but obviously this has spread very quickly."

And on the club's travel arrangements to Devon, he added: "We will be going on three coaches today (Friday). There will be lots of space on the coach. All the lads have been tested and they will be tested again this morning.

"There are always bumps in the roads in football. Every game has to be treated on its merits and that's what we will be doing."

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