The Premier League is ready to start phase 1 of Project Restart as they hope to get this season back underway next month. These first steps are going to prove crucial to whether this season will get completed.
Newcastle’s players and coaching staff are scheduled to get tested for the coronavirus on Sunday. Hopefully, there’ll be no positive cases found from the testing.
Then the plan is to return to training on Tuesday. There will be many precautions in place to ensure that the training sessions are done as safely as possible.
This was all laid out to Steve Bruce and the players by Lee Charnley via a zoom conference last week.
Bruce was interviewed by NBC Sports’ Rebecca Lowe recently and he gave some insight into what the next few weeks will look as the players begin group training.
This is what Bruce had to say:
“I think it’s vitally important that supporters understand that phase 1 is to try and lead into phase 2 and phase 3. Phase 3 and 4 is to get back playing competitively. We understand that’s going to be behind closed doors.
“I think it’s vitally important that we get through Phase 1. The way it’s been explained to myself and my staff and the players of what exactly Phase 1 is – there’s 4 or 5 training to a pitch. So we have 8 to 10 training across two pitches.
“It couldn’t be any safer in that environment which is the main step to get into phase 2 and 3. We hope that it goes clear. We’ve got the benefit of testing, and that’s vitally important for everybody.
“I’m sure that we’re as safe as what we can be with the first phase of trying to ease the lockdown.”
Steve puts a lot of emphasis on how important the early stages of Project Restart is. For football to have any chance of returning next month, phase 1 has to prove a success.
We hope it all goes off without a hitch but there’s likely to be some setbacks.
The Bundesliga returned on Saturday with many noticeable precautions put in place.
The players were forbidden to touch while celebrating which made for some interesting optics. Similar precautions will likely be in place when the Premier League returns next month.
However, for that to become a reality the next few weeks are going to be vitally important, as Steve Bruce says.