Steve Bruce says Premier League should not resume before end of June | Football News

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Bruce says squad are largely happy with measures put in place for safe return to training

Last Updated: 16/05/20 11:28pm

Newcastle manager Steve Bruce is concerned at how quickly players may be expected to recover full fitness

Newcastle manager Steve Bruce is concerned at how quickly players may be expected to recover full fitness

Newcastle manager Steve Bruce has warned players will not be fit enough to resume the Premier League season until the end of June.

Bruce has joined Watford counterpart Nigel Pearson in voicing concerns about Project Restart and a targeted return date in mid-June, ahead of Monday’s expected vote on a return to training in small groups with social distancing.

Troy Deeney and Glenn Murray publicly pleading for football in England not to be rushed back too soon, while on loan Newcastle defender Danny Rose has raised his concerns over returning to action.

UEFA are hopeful major European league can finish by the end of July but should the Premier League not resume until late June it would be difficult to complete the remaining 92 league games in time.

Newcastle sit 13th and eight points above the relegation zone in the Premier League

Newcastle sit 13th and eight points above the relegation zone in the Premier League

“We’ve listened to what has been said and, with the precautions taken, we will get back to work and start phase one,” Bruce told The Telegraph.

“Can we get to that stage where we can have all the players on the pitch together? We don’t know yet.

“Phase one will be mainly fitness work, four or five players on a pitch. Let’s see how we get on [and hope there are no infections].”

Former England internationals Paul Robinson and Matthew Upson believe Premier League players may be under too much pressure to return to action

The Premier League has been suspended since March 13 due to the coronavirus pandemic and Bruce says there are widespread concerns from managers over how quickly players are expected to find recover full fitness.

He added: “We need enough preparation time to get these players into shape or they are just going to fall down like a pack of cards.

“Most of the managers have the same concerns. We would need at least six weeks. I don’t see how we can play games until the back end of June.”

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Chelsea head coach Frank Lampard says he has been making plans for a possible resumption of training next week

Chelsea head coach Frank Lampard says he has been making plans for a possible resumption of training next week

Bruce revealed his squad are due to undergo testing on Sunday and should the results all come back negative then the side will return to training following their two-month break on Tuesday.

A meeting of Premier League captains was held last Wednesday and Bruce says his squad are relaxed about a return to training but he insisted players deserve respect should they opt to stay at home.

Bruce said: “If a player refuses to come in or play, I have sympathy for that and would understand it. Most of my players are happy with it.

“There was a captain’s meeting the other day as well and as a squad they are happy with the measures that are being put in place. You have to respect everybody’s personal views on it.”

PL ‘Project Restart’ Q&A: Decision imminent

The resumption of the Premier League campaign remains uncertain with talks ongoing between clubs, players, medical experts and top-flight officials

The resumption of the Premier League campaign remains uncertain with talks ongoing between clubs, players, medical experts and top-flight officials

Premier League clubs will hold their latest emergency conference call on ‘Project Restart’ on Monday. Sky Sports News’ chief reporter Bryan Swanson answers the key questions…

Is a return to training close?

Yes, but clubs are required to agree to Premier League protocols.

A vote will be required over the first phase of training – small groups with social distancing – and nothing more advanced.

At least 14 clubs must approve these new measures.

If the majority of clubs agree on Monday’s conference call, players can return to a sterile non-contact environment later in the week. It’s important to stress: This is about the first phase of training and nothing further than that.

Deputy Chief Medical Officer for England Professor Jonathan Van-Tam told the government briefing how they will decide on the return of elite sport

A return to training, on a socially distanced basis, has been discussed this week between club captains, managers, the Professional Footballers’ Association [PFA] and League Managers Association [LMA], and concerns have been raised by some senior players.

Clubs had to conduct a COVID-19 focused occupational health risk assessment by Friday [May 15], record its results and make those results available to the Premier League on request.

In a draft document seen by Sky Sports News, each club must ensure that, before any player or staff attends the training ground, they have provided written confirmation that they have received the terms of the club’s Covid-19 operational policy.

Read the rest of the key questions here

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www.skysports.com 2020-05-16 22:25:00

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