Preston North End boss Alex Neil says homeworking is keeping the PNE players in shape

Preston North End manager Alex Neil says his players are taking good care of themselves during the lockdown and that they will come back in good shape when a return to training is permitted.

Tuesday, 21st April 2020, 11:45 am

The squad are working through individual fitness programmes at home as well as doing group sessions via Face Time and Zoom.

Neil has also stressed the need for some of the squad to get some rest, bearing in mind they were 37 games into the season when it was halted due to the Covid-19 outbreak.

Provisionally the squad will stay at home until May 16 which is the date pencilled in for a return to training.

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Preston North End manager Alex Neil with Ben Pearson and Daniel Johnson

That is with the view that the season may resume on the first weekend of June.

Those dates are obviously subject to agreement from the Government and health bodies.

Neil said: “The biggest thing for the players is their fitness levels.

“The sports science and physio departments are in touch with the players to make sure they are okay on that front.

Preston boss Alex Neil

“Mick Kearns who does the strength work here, holds a group session with them, the lads log in to do that together.

“They log in to the spinning sessions which Tom Little and Luke Hemmings do.

“From a football point of view, we have downloaded bits about the nine clubs we still have to play.

“That is something the players can do at their leisure, log on and have a look at the analysis we have done.

“It’s nothing too in depth at this stage, there is a while to go yet before they will be back on the pitch.

“Just at the moment the lads are just tying to stay occupied.

“Football is having to take a back seat until we have more knowledge about what is going to happen in the weeks and months ahead.”

Neil himself has been keeping busy, getting himself out for runs to maintain his own fitness levels, walking the dog and spending time with his family – he has two young children.

“I’ve not it too difficult to keep occupied,” said Neil.

“We have got all the footage from the games this season and with us coming towards the end of the second round of games, there is not really anything that is going to crop up that we aren’t aware of.

“I speak regularly with Peter Ridsdale and touch base with the players to see how they are getting on.”