Nigel Pearson says Adrian Mariappa is feeling well following positive coronavirus test

Watford defender Christian Kabasele says potential Premier League return date of June 12 is "impossible"

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Nigel Pearson says Adrian Mariappa is following advice and isolating for a week

Watford manager Nigel Pearson says Adrian Mariappa's positive test for Covid-19 shows how the virus can affect people in different ways.

Mariappa tested positive for coronavirus earlier this week along with two non-playing members of staff, but Pearson says the defender is feeling well and looking forward to returning to training once given the all clear.

Pearson told Sky Sports News: "When I saw him for the test last week, I was sitting in the car park chatting to players as he came past so I had a chance to touch base with most of them.

"He looks exceptionally well and feels very well himself so I think it's an example of how this virus can affect people in different ways.

"He's following the advice and recommendations and isolating for a week. His family are all okay as well. I have no doubts in his case he'll be fine when he comes back in.

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Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher say they fully understand Watford captain Troy Deeney's decision not to return to training due to concerns for his son's health

"The point about this is there will be people who have the virus and who shake it off easily and some who are more susceptible.

"There are still a lot of unanswered questions. He's disappointed he's not in and we've got other people who are away because they have to self-isolate because of being in contact with people who have been tested positive, and then we have players who have decided they will continue to train on their own."

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The Watford players were tested for a second time on Friday and Pearson says the mood in the camp is positive as they prepare to resume their fight against Premier League relegation.

We are still very much involved in a relegation battle and we can't drive the political vehicle that's ploughing ahead.
Nigel Pearson

"We've all been tested again and hopefully they'll be no further positive tests, that's what we all hope," he said.

"One of the things that was very important this week was that when we had the initial tests, it was to allow the training environment to be as safe as possible so when people have to be excluded it's for their own good and for the good of everyone around them.

"This is not going to be a necessarily smooth transition back to playing but what we have to do is have a flexible approach to it.

"I've made my position abundantly clear what I do feel. My position as the head coach here is to support my players and staff and we will work towards getting our group of players in the best possible place and we're able to be competitive again.

"We are still very much involved in a relegation battle and we can't drive the political vehicle that's ploughing ahead.

"It's very clear from the government stance they have no intention of slowing down our involvement back in the Premier League.

"I don't like being involved in a propaganda campaign but having read the info that's come our way about 'Stage 2' and all the stuff that's in the public domain about how they want to push it forward.

"It's very clear what the agenda is, but my work mode is very much about getting our preparation right, making sure we're all okay and that when we do return we are able to retain our Premier League status.

"That's really the priority - but not at the expense of people's well-being for sure."

Kabasele: June 12 restart 'impossible'

Christian Kabasele
Image: Christian Kabasele says a return to action cannot be rushed

Watford defender Christian Kabasele believes the potential Premier League return date of June 12 would be "impossible" and action should not resume until later that month.

'Project Restart' is well under way as the English top flight attempts to resume action amid the coronavirus pandemic.

"Nothing has been confirmed yet," said Kabasele. "Personally I follow the news through the media because nothing has been official for the moment.

"We [see] speak about June 12. I think it is impossible because it would be less than three weeks training after a long period without doing anything, it's a risk for us.

"I'm not sure, I don't have any information but I think we are not going to start June 12.

"The most obvious choice for me is the end of June. Like this you have at least four weeks to train with the team if it's possible.

"We will see. For the moment it's a big question mark on this."

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