LASK player misses Europa League game with Spurs after positive coronavirus test

LASK head coach Dominik Thalhammer has revealed one of his squad has not travelled for the Europa League group game with Tottenham after testing positive for coronavirus.

The Austrian club are in London ahead of the Group J clash with Spurs, but are a man light following the round of testing on Tuesday.

Thalhammer is content that all protocols have been followed and says it has caused no disruption to their plans for the game at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

The unnamed player is at home in quarantine and is showing no symptoms.

“It was yesterday evening,” he said at his pre-match press conference. “It did not disrupt us. This particular player, he did not travel with the team, we have done lots of coronavirus testing and it was all negative, but when I discovered that one player was positive then we tested again.

“Only players with negative tests were able to travel to London.

“We wanted to give the English the security that we have done everything and it is important for us.

“Other clubs we hear about individual cases but we were very cautious and for this reason we aren’t particularly concerned, but we did change the plan and travelled earlier.”

LASK are up against more Premier League opposition, having lost heavily over two legs in last season’s last 16 to Manchester United.

They are likely to come up against a strong Spurs side on Thursday, with Gareth Bale in contention to start, which would be a career highlight for defender Reinhold Ranftl.

“The Premier League is exceptional, I could list some teams that I admire, Tottenham is one of them,” he said.

“Gareth Bale is an idol of mine, tomorrow I could be playing against him.

“You dream about this, to play in these types of games. You live for games like this.

“I looked at him at Tottenham, he is really a special player, but I could say that about lots of players. At every position they have excellent players.

“It is something very special. We watch the Premier League now we have got the chance to play against them. We had Manchester United now we have Tottenham, we are going to have a lot of work tomorrow.”

Asked whether Ranftl will try and swap shirts with Bale after the game, he said: “I haven’t thought about it, if the result and performance is good then I will think about it. We will see.”