Slaven Bilic: West Brom boss facing anxious wait over latest COVID-19 tests
West Brom boss Slaven Bilic is facing an anxious wait to see if any more of his players have tested positive for coronavirus on their return from the international break.
The Baggies saw both defender Branislav Ivanovic and forward Matheus Pereira ruled out of the previous Premier League game against Tottenham following positive Covid-19 tests.
Striker Callum Robinson, meanwhile, tested positive for the virus while away with the Republic of Ireland.
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Bilic confirmed all three should now be available for Saturday’s Premier League trip to Manchester United.
The club, though, are still waiting for the all-clear from players coming back to the UK, with training schedules having been moved to hopefully allow for results to be processed.
“Matheus and Branislav are back in training because they have done the quarantine and tested negative,” Bilic said.
“We’ve had a few players who were positive, so they did not train for 10 days. For some of them (coming back from international duty), we are still waiting for the test results.
“Hopefully they will be back for training tomorrow, maybe some today – as we are training a bit later for the results to be (here) on time.
“Some of the guys who were on international duty are due to be back today, so they had to do the (Covid) test again as soon as they landed back in the country.
“Hopefully they are all going to be good, but we had a few cases, yes. (It is) confidential. We cannot say the names.
“Let’s say a few, but the good thing is players like Pereira and Ivanovic are back.
“They have been training this week so they should be alright for the game against Man United.”
Bilic added: “Callum Robinson went (away) for Ireland, but he got a positive test.
“He is fit, he did a test last night and the results came this morning. He is negative so we are hoping to see today, but they should (all) be okay.”
West Brom are not the only Premier League side to be hit by players testing positive for Covid-19 while off travelling around the globe.
Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah and Arsenal midfielder Mohamed Elneny have returned positive coronavirus tests during their time away with Egypt.
Arsenal are also expected to have to be without Bosnia defender Sead Kolasinac after his confirmed case.
Bilic, though, accepts there is “nothing you can do” about the situation – apart from be prepared how to tackle it.
“You can’t plan ‘we are going to play like this’, with not having a Plan B or alternatives,” the West Brom manager said.
“It is not that it may happen, it is going to happen, unfortunately – and not just for us, but for every team it is going to happen.
“You just have to hope that you are going to be lucky enough that it will not be your players who get it.
“But what you have to do is have in mind also some other guys and monitor them more than you should.
“It is basically that you just don’t have your starting XI, but to have your starting 16.
“You have to keep them all on their toes because their chance can come – and is coming basically – like this, when the situation changes dramatically.”
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