Preston North End boss Alex Neil wants questions answered ahead of a return to action

Preston North End manager Alex Neil says having a provisional timetable to work towards in terms of the season restarting has allowed some planning to be done.

Friday, 24th April 2020, 6:00 am

However, Neil still thinks there is plenty for the football authorities to think about before games can be played again.

The plan is for North End to return to training on May 16 ahead of the season possibly resuming in early June.

That is still at the guideline stage and nothing is as yet set in stone.

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Preston manager Alex Neil

For Neil and the players though, it at least gives them something to aim for.

Neil said: “Having these dates has been helpful.

“When there is no time frame whatsoever, you don’t know how much to push the lads, you don’t know how much to demand of them. At least having a date to work to you can have a programme in place.

“As far as tactics and that side of things is concerned, you’ve got to pick the right time to give them that sort of information so that it has the maximum effect.

“To go into that side of things too early would not be beneficial.

“I’ve read about other coaches having meetings with players and talking through tactical stuff with them.

“I’m thinking how many of those players would wake up the next morning and answer questions of what they had discussed?

“Just now it is as much about downtime mentally as anything else.

“We have a plan in place to physically step it up week by week.

“Bear in mind that when we do come back we would still have three weeks minimum before a ball is kicked.

“That is three weeks that I would have them at my fingertips each and every day on the training ground.”

Before confirmation about a resumption of the season comes through, Neil says there are plenty of questions to be answered.

Getting football going would have to be done in agreement with the Government and only when considered safe to do so.

Neil said: “How do we train without contact?

“If a player was to contract the virus once we come back, what do we do then? Who gets isolated?

“If I was to contract it, what happens then? There are a lot of unanswered questions at the moment.

“Whoever is doing all the thinking and planning, I hope they go into real depth rather than having to make decisions on the spot.

“There are a lot of things which will crop up which could become issues.

“Hopefully over the next few weeks things will become clearer.”