No danger of Covid-19 chaos repeating when West Ham face Wolves as Hammers squad given all clear


West Ham assistant Alan Irvine has insisted there is no danger of a repeat of the Covid-19 testing chaos that surrounded their Carabao Cup victory over Hull City in midweek happening again this weekend when they face Wolves in the Premier League on Sunday.

Hammers manager David Moyes and players Issa Diop and Josh Cullen all found out they had tested positive for coronavirus just ten minutes before the team news was announced for the Hull match, with both players set to start and Moyes in the dugout.

All three were retested immediately and then sent home. Those second results have come back negative and the trio are set to return to Rush Green for training next Thursday providing they post another negative test result.

Moyes will be absent from the dugout for the Wolves game and also for the return to his old stamping ground at Goodison Park for the Carabao Cup last 16 tie next Wednesday on Merseyside.

Irvine has been deputising for Moyes while the manager has been forced to stay at home and self-isolate and his fellow Scotsman provided an update on Friday at his pre-match press conference and how the last few days have been “strange.”

“We have them [the latest results] now,” he said.

“We got tested on Wednesday and the last results came in this mornin [Friday]. We were waiting for the all clear.

“I was trying to plan training last night knowing I could get a phone call at any point to say a number of players have not been cleared to come in. That was a strange one.

West Ham defender Issa Diop at full time after defeat to Arsenal

“I have never had to plan a training session on that basis before. But all staff and players have been given the all-clear, which is great.”

There are plenty of theories around how Moyes is actually going to be able to manage the matches this weekend and next Tuesday.

It will obviously be done remotely but Irvine admitted that the staff have yet to decide how it gets done. The assistant himself usually sits in the stands to get a better view of the action and he then relays messages down to pitchside.

“We have not worked out how we are going to do it as far as the game is concerned but for example yesterday, as a group of coaches we did what we always do,” Irvine added.

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“We sat down and had a look at the opposition in some detail and David joined us by video call. So we were able to continue watching everything as we would do. We were able to stop the video, discuss all the different points, and it was pretty much as if he was in the room. So we are very fortunate from that point of view.

“We will look at the best way of working so he is in touch with us during the game. He watched the game the other night but everything happened too late for us to set anything up. I usually sit up in the stand anyway to get a better view and I am in contact with the bench.

“I would imagine it will be a reversal of that, and David will be able to be in contact with the bench and any information he wants to get onto the pitch he can pass on.

“I have been a caretaker manager before, but that has always been when there is no manager around. On this occasion I don’t think I can be called a caretaker manager – I am just somebody who is going to be standing beside the pitch instead of sitting up in the stand. David will be the one who is a little bit further from it.”





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