Coronavirus: Sterling doubts Premier League resumption plan
PUBLISHED: 17:30 17 May 2020
PA Wire/PA Images
Raheem Sterling has cast doubt over the Premier League’s plan to resume matches next month with many top stars still not back in training.
Sterling has insisted players would require at least a month of full training before they can be pitched back into big-match action – effectively ruling out the hoped-for return date of June 12.
Speaking in an interview with USA women captain Megan Rapinoe on his Youtube channel, Sterling said: “You can’t come back in with one and a half or two weeks (of training).
“You’d need a full four to five weeks, especially if you’re going to go back into competition, when you’re literally paid to win. You do need to do that preparation – you can’t just go straight in.”
Sterling admitted to feeling “lost” when the lockdown was first introduced in March.
“The beginning (of lockdown) was definitely weird then I started to say to myself ‘I can’t keep doing this, I can’t just be in this dark room playing my Call of Duty for six or seven hours’, I just got a little schedule in,” he added.
“I felt lost for the first couple of weeks but then it just flew by. I can’t wait to get back out there.
“We’ve had a lot of gym sessions on Zoom, we’ve had our programmes being sent over to us, so I’ve been trying my best to keep up with the plan.”
Newcastle boss Steve Bruce says starting before the end of June is simply not viable, insisting an earlier start would see them “fall down like a pack of cards”.
“We’ve listened to what has been said and, with the precautions taken, we will get back to work and start phase one,” Bruce said in the Sunday 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.
“You have to remember that they have had eight weeks off and that is probably the longest break some of these players have had in their careers.
“If we were doing pre-season, we would have six weeks and probably have six friendly games to get them ready for the first league match.
“So, we need a good stretch of time here to get them ready. Certainly once we get into stage two, that is vitally important. We need enough preparation to get these players into shape or they are just going to fall down like a pack of cards.”
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