Preston players handed homework during enforced lay-off due to coronavirus outbreak

Preston North End’s squad has been given tactical homework to do during the continued football shutdown.

Friday, 3rd April 2020, 9:39 pm
Updated Friday, 3rd April 2020, 9:44 pm
PNE boss Alex Neil

The players have been busy doing fitness programmes since training ceased last month due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Now they have got tactical analysis to do in readiness for when the season eventually restarts.

Yesterday afternoon, the EFL and Premier League announced that the 2019/20 season would resume only when safe to do so.

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Previously, the suspension of the season had included dates to work towards – April 4 and then April 30.

Now there seems little hope of starting again until the summer.

Peter Ridsdale, advisor to PNE owner Trevor Hemmings, told the Lancashire Post: “We don’t know when we will be starting again but we want the players focused for when that does eventually happen.

“We’ve now sent them clips of the opposition for our next nine opponents.

“Relevant information on the players they are likely to face has been sent out so they can study them.

“They were already doing the fitness programmes and this is another way of getting them prepared.

“There has been a lot of work done behind the scenes by Alex Neil and the analysts to put the information together and get it to the players.”

North End last played four weeks ago against Queens Park Rangers at Deepdale.

The squad trained in the build-up to the scheduled visit to Luton on March 14 but football was suspended the day before.

They were back at Springfields for the first two days of the following week before training was halted.

Initially training was stopped until April 6 but the players won’t be back then as the country is in lockdown.

Ridsdale said: “We can’t return to training while we are in lockdown so the players will do the work at home.

“There will eventually be a time when we come back and start preparing to play again.

“How long notice the clubs will get before the season starts, we just don’t know at this stage.”

The indefinite suspension of the season came after a meeting of Premier League clubs, with the EFL following their lead.

One of the measures agreed by the Premier League was the advance of £125m to the EFL and National League.

The early payment of the funds are designed to help clubs cope with having income over the coming weeks.

Also discussed by clubs in the top flight was a consultation with players about wage reductions and deferrals amounting to 30% of total annual remuneration.