Man City Assistant Coach gives Covid update ahead of Swindon clash
Manchester City Assistant Coach Rodolfo Borell has provided an update on the club's Covid-19 outbreak after team manager Pep Guardiola tested positive for the virus, along with 20 other individuals ahead of tomorrow’s FA Cup 3rd round trip to Swindon Town. Total Sport Swindon’s Ryan Walker spoke to Borrell in this afternoons press conference.
On the eve of the televised FA Cup clash between League Two Swindon Town and Premier League Champions Manchester City, it was confirmed that manager Pep Guardiola, 14 staff and 7 first-team players had tested positive for Covid-19 and were unavailable for the game.
Assistant Coach Rodolfo Borrell will take charge of proceedings, and speaking to the media today, he confirmed that the match will go ahead as things stand, highlighting however that circumstances could change if more players test positive tomorrow.
“We have had a covid outbreak and at the moment we have 7 players unavailable and 14 staff so it is quite a big outbreak right now,” said Borrell.
“We are going day-by-day and don’t know where it will end but in this moment it is 7 players and 14 staff.
“[Pep Guardiola] is fine. He has the virus but fortunately doesn’t have a lot of symptoms. We are permanently in touch.
“We have prepared mentally for the game and this is what we have done up until now and have to keep going this way,” he added.
“Then tomorrow if for whatever reason [the game] is not possible because of more news then it is out of our reach.
“Right now we are prepared to play the game and we have been preparing for days. Mentally we are ready for it.
“At the end of the day all clubs suffering, some a few weeks ago, some right now, and some later,” said Borrell.
"We as a club are going back to the protocols from the very beginning of the pandemic.
“We try to minimise the risk here at the training facility and there is a little bit of uncertainty because every day we are having to test,
“Almost everybody is expecting every day who will [test positive] today.
“We are coping with it and we are taking it day by day,” he said.
With the club looking to win the cup for the first time since the 18/19 season, the absence of seven first-team players is a blow to Man City, along with Swindon fans who were hoping to see big-name players take to the turf at the County Ground.
Stopping short of revealing individuals who had tested positive, Borrell explained that the starting line-up has been easy to pick given the lack of players available.
“It has possibly been one of the easiest lineups we have had to decide because we play with the players we have available, we don’t have much more,” he said.
“Our aim is to keep playing as much as we can and trying to respect competitions and trying to keep playing.
“At this moment we can fill the team. I don’t know in the following days what is going to happen but right now it is an easy line-up to decide because we will play with what we have got.
“We will have some first-team players, and others who will come from our second team,” added Borell.
“This is not for me to say [who has tested positive].
“We have 7 players [out]. I have to prepare a game tomorrow and we don’t know tomorrow if we will have more players unavailable.
“Right now I would not like to mention them [players with covid] as I might forget one.
“In the end it is 7 players unavailable and it isn’t for me to say,” he said.
“To fill in the whole squad and be able to travel with subs we have had to bring players from the second team.
“But also the covid outbreak involves players from the second team so the situation is not that easy.
“The second team have had plenty of covid cases but there are no excuses and we will travel with a team with a mixture of both.
“We will go for the win and try to get the best out the game,” said the Assistant Coach.
A weakened Manchester City presents Swindon Town with their best opportunity to test the steel of the Premier League Champions as Ben Garner’s Robins look to cause a historic cup upset.
Stressing the importance of the FA Cup for Manchester City, Borell feels his side are fully prepared for the League Two outfit.
"You know better than me that this is the oldest national football competition and there is a lot of history where lesser teams beat big opponents,” said Borell.
“The competition creates a great atmosphere and a lot of enthusiasm where everyone is trying to make their town or city proud.
"There is obviously a difference in terms of quality of players but these are the kind of games where everything gets very close because of the FA Cup being something special.
“This is a title that as players and staff we are very proud to have won in the last 6 years and for us it is very important.
"I think it will be a very close game and we have to be prepared for that,” he said.