Liverpool defeated QPR on Sunday, but with many in the team suffering from illness, concerns linger ahead of Wednesday's clash with Sunderland.
With Brendan Rodgers back in Liverpool and half of those who travelled to London for Sunday's match against QPR appearing visibly ill by the end of it, guiding the club in its attempts to rebound from a poor performance against Soke City fell to assistant manager Colin Pascoe.
According to Pascoe, though, there's wasn't much for him to do—especially considering that with a match against Sunderland coming up quickly on Wednesday and Pascoe ill himself, the assistant manager wasn't even allowed into the dressing room at the half as team doctors attempted to stop the spread of the virus.
"All the preparation for the game was [already] done," he said of his role on Sunday. "I had to give one presentation this morning but the others had already been done."
On the other hand, usually when a manager cannot be on hand for any reason, he will be in constant contact with whichever assistant is left nominally in charge. Against QPR, Rodgers was so sick that that wasn't the case.
"No, he is that bad," began Pascoe when the question of whether Rodgers had kept in touch with him throughout the match came up. "He might not have [even] watched it because he was very bad this morning.
"He phoned me this morning and I wasn’t feeling well myself but Brendan was worse than me."
However, things were more positive when it came to judging the team's performance—though Pascoe thankfully managed to avoid talk of any grand and likely unachievable goals towards the top of the table:
"The way Luis Suarez and Steven Gerrard played was brilliant. But I could go through the whole team because it was a great team performance. This is a difficult place to come and we were really disappointed with the Stoke City game before this."
Meanwhile, it turned out that Jordan Henderson was one of those who headed into the match sick—only his desire to seize the opportunity to start after spending most of the season as, at best, an option off the bench, meant he was determined play no matter what.
"There's a lot of competition for places at this club so when you are given the opportunity you can't let anything get in the way," said Henderson. "The coaches just said to me see how you feel in the warm-up. I felt okay so I managed to play for an hour which I'm pleased with.
"I got a text from my dad saying I looked white when I came off, but I feel fine and hopefully will be ready for the next game now against Sunderland."