Towels and toilet rolls – how Stoke City manager is keeping himself busy during lock down



Michael O’Neill has been driven to DIY and cleaning up his garage in a bid to beat the boredom of self isolation.

The Stoke manager is currently in lock down because of the coronavirus crisis at his Scottish home with his wife and two daughters.

He’s keeping busy with work and exercise – and making himself useful around the house.

“It’s been difficult really, to be honest,” O’Neill confessed.

“On a personal level, I try to go out for a cycle or a run, so that’s my one bit of exercise a day.

“Other than that, I’ve been doing a bit of DIY, which I’m not particularly good at.

“We had the house decorated and there’s still a few things to put back, so I’ve been putting up things like towel rails and toilet roll holders.

“I’ve also tidied up the garage, so nothing too adventurous.”

As for his teenage daughters, he insists he has bitten his tongue where social media and the like is concerned.

He disclosed: “My eldest was preparing for her exams and she plays football for Hearts, so all that has had to stop.

“We are trying to push them out once-a-day for a run or to play a bit of hockey and there’s school work too on the on-line platform.

“It’s difficult for the younger ones because they can’t see their friends.

“It’s the one time you can’t shout at them for being on the technology for too long.”

As for his day job, he is keeping open the channels of communication to ensure he’s ready to pick up the baton when the nation gets the all clear.

“There’s been as much communication and football stuff as we can, things like looking back at games,” O’Neill continued.

“We’ve also been looking at some planning going forward for when the season starts, but also looking to next season as well and things like the squad and the players out of contract.

“I think the landscape will be very different when we do come out of it.”

He is hoping that his squad return as fit as they can be after being handed fitness programmes to keep in shape.

“There’s been communication with players on their fitness to keep on top of them.

“I’ve spoken to various players on the phone or via WhatsApp and we are setting up conference calls with the fitness and sports science team because they’re the ones who set the programmes and the GPS tracking, they probably have more contact with the players on a daily basis.

“The medical team will also be in touch because even working remotely, some of the players might wake up a bit sore the next morning.

“When we get closer to returning and playing there will be more interaction with the players.”





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