Stoke City manager Michael O’Neill has tested positive for COVID-19, the Championship club have announced.
The former Northern Ireland boss returned the adverse result during the sixth round of testing as England’s second tier gears up to relaunch next week.
O’Neill, 50, had tested negative in the previous five rounds.
Confirming the news, Stoke said in a statement on Tuesday: “He will now follow the relevant guidance and undergo a period of isolation, whilst continuing to be in regular virtual contact with his coaching staff and players.”
Assistant manager Billy McKinlay will take charge of Stoke’s preparations to face Reading on June 20 as O’Neill stays away.
Following his appointment last November, with the Potters at the foot of the Championship table, O’Neill inspired a turnaround in fortunes to lift the team up to 17th place.
The threat of relegation remains, as Stoke sit three points better off than third-bottom Charlton Athletic with nine matches still to play.
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