UPDATE FROM THE GAFFER


Phil Parkinson reckons that the players are desperate to get back to work and play some football. It seems that May 16 is pencilled in for a return to training date, but that will only be the case if approved by the authorities and the safety of the players can be guaranteed through regular testing.

"We're monitoring what we can and can't do and the minute it is safe to get back into the training ground, either individually or in small groups, we'll be looking to do that," Parkinson said. “The lads were going through a fitness programme under Nick Allamby but then of course the players and coaching staff have been put on furlough, which changes things. But the players want to be back as quickly as possible, so they will be keeping up their fitness at home – modern-day players would do that as a matter of course – and they will be using their daily exercise as a release, both physically and mentally, like a lot of other people in the country. I've checked in on them to make sure they are OK and mentally in a good place, and they are very positive. They just want to be back at work and back training again, which you can understand. We are trying to get a date that we can aim for, but it is difficult for the EFL because the Government is still yet to make big decision on how to release the lockdown themselves. We all want to get the season going again but everybody understands the situation and we can only get back training and playing when it is safe. When you look at where we are now, saying that in a month's time 22 players are going to be running around in close proximity on a football pitch seems quite a long way away. The signs from the Government are that things are going in the right direction and we just hope that that continues as the weeks go on."



Parkinson is also staying up to date with contracts and recruitment. He said: "I've had a lot of agents calling me about players, but you know that a lot of the conversations are just preliminary discussions – sounding you out. But it has to continue because players at other clubs will be out of contract, and this is the time of year when those talks would normally start cranking up. Obviously, it's very different this year but it pays to plan and be prepared for when we do get the go-ahead to play again. I just need to keep my ear to the ground in terms of what players might be available, what other clubs are doing with their players, and what have you."



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