‘There’s a certain risk attached to the return to training’: Aston Villa manager Dean Smith warns a medical issue and a high-risk relative could mean his side are missing two players if football is played with coronavirus fears still high
- Dean Smith says Aston Villa could be without two players when football returns
- A medical issue and a high-risk family member mean they will not be able to play
- Villa are second from bottom in the Premier League but have a game in hand
- Smith insists he has been grateful for the extra time he’s had with his players
- Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19
Aston Villa manager Dean Smith has warned his side could be without two of their players if the Premier League season gets up and running again because of health and safety fears.
Villa currently sit second from bottom in the Premier League but a win in their game in hand would lift them out of the bottom three, meaning every point will be essential if football returns.
But Smith, who has been in charge since 2018 and led Villa back to the top flight last season, has warned his squad may have to play the rest of the season without two players due to a medical issue and a high-risk family member.
Dean Smith has warned Aston Villa could be without two players if football returns too quickly
Speaking to The Football Show on Sky Sports, Smith said: ‘Everybody wants to get back into training but they also want to see what the medical protocols are first.
‘There’s a certain risk attached to the return to training for all players and I think they want to make sure they tick the boxes so it’s safe to do so.
‘We’ve got a player who is asthmatic, we’ve got a player whose mother-in-law is in remission and living with the family. You have to be very careful, certainly the transmission knows no boundaries.
‘From what I’m told, we have to be led by the government at the moment. There’s a lot of hypothetical questions out there at the moment but until we get the guidance from the government about how they want to move forward out of this lockdown there are a lot more questions than there are answers at this moment.
‘The players’ health and safety is paramount and if they’re not comfortable to return then you have to return without them, when it’s safe to do so. We have to listen to our players, we have to listen to their concerns.’
Villa currently sit second from bottom in the Premier League but do have a game in hand
The former Brentford manager also insisted Villa are keen to complete the domestic season and has been grateful for the time the current situation has allowed him to have with his players.
‘I’ve been having regular chats with the coaching staff about how we adapt to the new situation, what it might look like,’ he added. ‘But it’s also given me time to review and reflect on what we’ve done so far.
‘I’ve managed to do a video chat with each individual player and review their season so far, how they think they’ve done and how I think they’ve done, and we’re having regular group chats now.
‘Nobody wants to have this pandemic but it has given us the opportunity to review where we’re at and reflect on what we’ve done so far.
‘I’d never get a chance during the season to have a chat with my players for an hour, just on their season so far, what they need to improve on, how I feel they’ve done. Or to go back and watch every single game.’
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