O'Neill: I'm Feeling Better Than I Did But It's Not Been Nice
Wednesday, 6th Jan 2021 10:17
General manager of football operations Lee O’Neill says he’s starting to feeling better than he did having been among those at Town to suffer with Covid-19 over the Christmas period, along with manager Paul Lambert and academy head of coaching and player development Bryan Klug.
Eight players also tested positive leading to the postponements of the Northampton and AFC Wimbledon fixtures, while the games at Peterborough and Fleetwood which sandwiched those two matches were called off due to positive tests at the opposition clubs.
“I’m feeling better now than I did 10 days ago, but it’s not been nice at all to be honest with you," O’Neill told the EADT. "Actually it’s been really horrible.
“We think it was either the Portsmouth or Burton game when it got spread around the club. I was with Marcus [Evans] most of the Burton day [December 15th], but he didn’t get it. Paul and Bryan did get it though, along with a few of the players.
“I really took ill on the Friday night. I suffer a little bit from headaches in general, but this headache was like nothing I’d ever experienced. It wasn’t good.
“I didn’t really think Covid, because I’d had no other symptoms, but that night my temperature went through the roof.
“By the Monday I was in bed and couldn’t move. And by the Tuesday I was struggling to breath. It was panicky, I’ll be honest with you.”
He added: “I actually got the positive test on my birthday. That was nice of the NHS to send me a 'you've got Covid!' card!
“I was maybe a bit naïve. I was thinking I was relatively fit and healthy and had always able to deal with most things that come my way, be it coughs, colds, flu and all of that.
“Maybe Covid has shown that’s not the case! Or I guess I could flip it and say that because I am active and relatively young it stopped me getting even worse.
“I know people who have passed away from this. It’s really scary. I can definitely see how it could really, really frighten people who have asthma or heart issues or who are overweight. Because it did scare me at one point. I was really worried about it.
“I can’t shift the cough, as you can hear. I go into a coughing spasm and that still affects my breathing. I feel better than I did before though, which I’m pleased by, because people say it can go the other way after a couple of weeks.
“The thing I’m worried about now is that my poor little boy has got it. He’s only two and you see him with a 39 degree temperature and shivering away. That’s horrible.”
Like manager Lambert, O’Neill believes the EFL should put help out more with testing - which he believes should take place once a week - with tests costing the club more than £100 each with 57 having been carried out yesterday with the results expected today. However, he is sceptical whether the reported two-tests-a-week programme will be put in place.
With the Blues facing 28 games in four months with the postponed matches having been added to what was an already busy schedule, O’Neill believes the season ought to be extended.
“I’m not for cramming it all in and getting to a stage where teams are playing every couple of days if that’s not necessary,” he added. “I think we should all agree to extend it for a few more weeks to make sure all the games can be played properly.”
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