Middlesbrough boss Neil Warnock, 71, opens up on 'do or die' coronavirus battle and reveals football became irrelevant

A FIT and healthy Neil Warnock said that football became irrelevant as he battled “do or die” coronavirus. 

After watching the last two games from home in self-isolation, the Middlesbrough boss will be back in the dugout at home to Barnsley on Saturday.

Warnock reckons he caught Covid-19 a couple of weeks ago after a meeting with an IT staff member in a room without windows or ventilation. 

The 71-year-old was still involved during his time away from the pitch, though, setting the team up and speaking directly to his Boro coaches via phone during the games. 

But he believes he was lucky the virus did not spread to his lungs. 

Warnock said: “When you’ve got something like I had, your only thought is getting better – you don’t worry about football.

I started with a niggly throat and then lost my sense of taste and smell… I wanted to sleep every minute of the day.

“Football becomes irrelevant. The result is not do or die, whereas this virus is. 

“I was very fortunate I didn’t get anything on my chest. I started with a little niggly throat and then lost my sense of taste and smell. 

“And for the first few days I was absolutely shattered, wanting to go to sleep every minute of the day. It was a very tiring experience for me.

“I do enjoy my bike, I’ve been back out this week and that does seem to help.

"I think because of that little bit of extra fitness, I managed to keep it away from my chest and lungs. 

“It just makes you even more aware how careful you are.

"I'm getting a bit paranoid like that – I'm going around even my own house two or three times a day doing the surfaces and handles.”

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