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Phillip Cocu to self-isolate after Derby County CEO tests positive for coronavirus

Derby County manager Phillip Cocu

Derby County manager Phillip Cocu will miss his side’s clash against Barnsley this weekend after being required to self-isolate due to coming into close contact with chief executive Stephen Pearce, who has tested positive for coronavirus.

Pearce learned of the result on Thursday having held meetings with Cocu and Rams owner Mel Morris earlier in the week.

All three will now self-isolate away from the team, which leaves assistant manager Chris van der Weerden and first-team coaches Twan Scheepers and Liam Rosenior in charge for the welcome of Barnsley to Pride Park on Saturday.

“County can confirm that its chief executive officer, Stephen Pearce, has this evening (Thursday) tested positive for Covid-19 during a routine test,” said a club statement.

“Pearce is currently asymptomatic and, in line with UK Government and club protocol, will now self-isolate.

“As a result of individual meetings with executive chairman Mel Morris CBE and manager Phillip Cocu over the course of today, they must also take part in a period of self-isolation, for 14-days, under UK Government and club protocol.

“Derby’s first-team coaching staff will oversee Saturday’s Sky Bet Championship fixture at home to Barnsley in Cocu’s mandatory absence.”

The upcoming international break means Cocu should be back on the sideline for Derby’s trip to Bristol City on November 21, but this is just the latest setback for the under-pressure Rams boss.

As Derby work to complete the sale of the club to Abu Dhabi royal Sheikh Khaled bin Zayed Al Nehayan, Cocu’s position has been growing more and more obscure after a run of one win in ten matches to open the Championship season.

Matters have not been helped by injuries to Kamil Jozwiak, David Marshall, Lee Buchanan, Krystian Bielik, Jordan Ibe, and the absence of captain Wayne Rooney who self-isolated after coming into contact with a person who was positive for the virus – though Rooney has not tested positive, himself.

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