Games without fans will be strange, says Preston midfielder Tom Bayliss

Preston North End midfielder Tom Bayliss admits behind closed doors football will take some getting used to.

Saturday, 23rd May 2020, 8:00 am
Tom Bayliss

If the season does restart next month – and it is likely that the Championship will seek to get going – games are to be played in empty grounds.

How that affects matches remains to be seen, however Bayliss says there in no choice but to adapt.

The 21-year-old watched a number of games from the German Bundesliga last week to see how they fared playing behind closed doors.

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He will be tuning in again over the next couple of days for his football fix.

Bayliss told the Lancashire Post: “It’s going to be weird playing the games behind closed doors.

“It will be like a youth team or reserve game with hardly anyone there.

“As a player you will just have to focus on the football, blank out the surroundings.

“It will be strange to start with and you just hope for the day when the fans are allowed back into the grounds.

“That is what the players want, for fans to be able to watch the games.”

After more than two months without football to play or watch live, Bayliss enjoyed what he saw from the Bundesliga last week.

English football is keeping a close eye on Germany to see how things go there.

Bayliss said: “It was good to see some football, rather than just recordings of old games.

“I’ve not seen much Bundesliga football before but I watched four or five games last weekend.

“Some of the football played was very good and I’ll certainly be watching again.

“It was strange watching players being substituted and putting masks on when they sat down.

“I’m sure we will see that here when we get started again.”

The PNE squad and other Championship clubs are due back in training on Monday, more than 10 weeks after the season was suspended.

Last Thursday, the players and staff were tested for Covid-19 as part of the return to training protocol.

They will be tested twice a week from now on.

Bayliss said: “It will be nice to see everyone again, that’s what you miss – the laughs and chats we have.

“We’ll be training in small groups but at least you can sees the faces again.

“It’s about staying safe and following the protocol.

“If we do that, the quicker we might be able to get things back to normal.

“We want to get the season going, give it a big push in the hope of finishing what we started.

“Things will be different but we have to adapt. We all just want to be playing football again.”