‘It was a shock for him and the group’ - Farke lifts the lid on Stiepermann coronavirus saga

Marco Stiepermann had to self-isolate after a positive Premier League test for coronavirus before re-joining training 
Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Marco Stiepermann had to self-isolate after a positive Premier League test for coronavirus before re-joining training Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

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Daniel Farke admits Marco Stiepermann’s positive coronavirus test sent shock waves through the Norwich City squad.

The attacking midfielder re-joined his team-mates at Colney on Thursday after two further negative tests, following the initial result that prompted a period of self-isolation.

Stiepermann will not be considered for Friday’s Premier League return against Southampton, after what Farke revealed had been a traumatic few days.

“Under the rules he could be involved but we won’t do that. It was a shock for him and the whole group,” said the City boss. “It came back positive but he showed no symptoms and he was absolutely fine.

“The first re-test was negative, the same with the second but he had missed six days, so his preparation is not perfect.

“For Marco it was obviously horrendous but you could also sense the other lads are maybe starting again to doubt things, not panic or over-react, but it was a strange two or three days.

“The first days when the lads came back they were a bit doubtful, a bit careful and from day to day they built more trust with each other. The regular testing helps to build trust and confidence as we go step by step to some form of normality.

“But then when the shock news came out about Marco it was a reminder how careful we have to be. We have to be so careful and stick to our protocols.”

Stiepermann’s two negative follow-up tests have prompted questions in some quarters over the original verdict.

“We don’t know enough about this virus to judge it completely.

“I am more thankful Marco showed no symptoms and is in good health,” said Farke. “It shouldn’t be possible to re-test not once but twice that soon and no antibodies in his blood against this virus to suggest he had it in the past.

“For me as the coach I had to stay calm and keep my cool and focus on the realities.

“The protocols are in place to handle any positive tests. No one is going to feel 100pc comfortable when there is a positive test in your group but this is the reality for the next few weeks and months.

“Marco’s situation has made us all aware. We are still walking on thin ice and we have to be careful but I feel quite safe and that is a big compliment to the people involved.”

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