Coronavirus: Accrington Stanley look to stop spread after outbreak

Accrington Stanley manager John Coleman on the sidelines
John Coleman was appointed as Accrington Stanley manager in September 2014

League One club Accrington Stanley has "basically closed down" after a coronavirus outbreak among the first-team squad, says manager John Coleman.

Eight players and a member of staff have tested positive, with Saturday's match against Bristol Rovers postponed.

"We also need to protect those who haven't tested positive," 58-year-old Coleman - who tested negative but is self-isolating - told the club website.external-link

"We need to batten down the hatches to stop it circulating any further."

All Accrington players were tested for Covid-19 on Thursday after a couple of players fell ill, with the results received later in the day.

"I have spoken to the players and some of them are asymptomatic while a few are feeling it a little bit," Coleman added.

"Luckily none are seriously ill, but they are fit lads and we hope that will help them a bit.

"Now it's about following protocol and keeping everyone safe and limiting the spread, that's our duty to the general public."

Accrington are seventh in League One after seven games of the campaign, but their matches against Swindon Town on Tuesday and Plymouth Argyle on Saturday, 31 October are also in doubt.

"It's not ideal to be missing what could be a number of games but that's the situation which we are in," Coleman added.

"It's a big blow to be playing catch-up in the league but we have to get on with it and protect the players, staff, their families and the public."

Stanley's youth and academy teams will continue training and playing, but managing director David Burgess says the club will "keep everything closed and be ready for the first team to return in the next couple of weeks".

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