Pep Lijnders has become the latest member of Liverpool’s coaching staff to test positive for COVID as preparations for the Carabao Cup semi-final are further affected.
The Dutchman was set to fill the shoes of Jurgen Klopp, as he had done against Chelsea, following the news of our boss testing positive in the run-up to the visit of Stamford Bridge.
This would mean the role of leading the team would then fall to our other assistant manager, Peter Krawietz – a man who has been with our boss since his Mainz days.
The news of the former NEC manager was confirmed on the club website, as they wrote: ‘Liverpool Football Club can confirm Pepijn Lijnders has returned a suspected positive test for COVID-19, further impacting the club’s preparations for Thursday’s Carabao Cup tie with Arsenal.
‘As an additional consequence, this morning’s scheduled press conference to preview the fixture has been cancelled.
‘The assistant manager had been due to handle pre-match media duties at the AXA Training Centre in place of Jürgen Klopp, who is continuing to isolate having tested positive for the virus last week.
‘However, Lijnders recorded a positive test late on Tuesday evening, meaning he has now also gone into isolation.
‘The 38-year-old took interim charge of Liverpool for the weekend draw at Chelsea in the absence of Klopp and had been set to continue at the helm at Emirates Stadium on Thursday.
‘Lijnders’ test result comes in addition to a number of suspected positive cases among players and football staff recorded earlier on Tuesday, which forced the cancellation of the day’s scheduled training session.
‘As a result of the outbreak and the suspension of preparations, as well as other illnesses and injuries recorded within the squad, the club submitted an application to the EFL for the postponement of Thursday’s tie with Arsenal, with the news of Lijnders’ positive result coming after the request was lodged.
‘The outcome of this application is still pending’.
The club is clearly not too impressed with the continued wait for news of whether the game will go ahead and given the closure of the training ground and absence of coaching staff, it’s going to be a surprise if it is on.
Fingers crossed we get news soon enough, so that the travelling Kop has time to hear before they board any travel options that have been selected.
More news as and when we get it.