Tom Cleverley of Watford tried to dispel the air of negativity around the club, insisting that he would take the opportunity to decide on survival or relegation on the pitch. Cleverley spoke before the Premier League received early indications of just two positives in two clubs, 996 players and staff, in the latest coronavirus tests.
"Chances are that the season will move forward," said the midfielder. “We are going to prepare for this and we need to support each other. We need to adopt an apologetic mindset and show that we have no problem with continuing and proving that we deserve to be in this league. "
Watford are in fourth position, ahead of Bournemouth on goal difference, and risk returning to the last three if Aston Villa finds a way to play and win the game in hand. After analyzing relegation certainties for most of the first part of the season, Watford's rejuvenation after Nigel Pearson's appointment was suspended by the closure.
Since then, they have come to be considered one of the clubs that would rather end the season, rather than restart the league, even though their chief executive Scott Duxbury's protest about the lack of sporting integrity involved in the relegation decision by through "a twisted nine-game minigame" was largely based on the fear of having to play in neutral locations.
Clubs concerned with taking advantage at home at such a crucial stage of the season have already been applauded, but Watford captain Troy Deeney refused to return to training because of Covid-19 fears and Pearson recently argued that it was debatable whether the Premier League needed to return in June.
Cleverley said: “I was one of the most comfortable players with the comeback and now I see how phase one is working, I feel even more comfortable. It is well organized and safe.
"There were some players who had doubts, and that's fine, but I can only be sure. If we want to save ourselves on the pitch, we will need an unapologetic mindset.
“What would I say to Troy? I would say that, so far, in training, I have contacted as many people as I visited the supermarket or did a morning run around the property. I would talk to him about the details, that's all, although I appreciate that we haven't started contact training yet. It looks like it could be a crucial moment. Any increase in positive tests during phase two would likely put everything at risk. "
Premier League chief executive Richard Masters said he is confident that clubs can follow the example of Spain and Portugal by returning to action in June.
Culture secretary Oliver Dowden has promised that the return of contact training in elite sports could receive government approval in a few days, although sport sports shadow minister Alison McGovern still has concerns about the Reboot Project. "I asked the sports minister to be aware of possible areas of conflict of interest that could put pressure on clubs to put their game ahead of public health," she said.
“We already know that players and staff are testing positive as training is resumed, but the government has made no provision to ensure that football club health professionals can raise issues related to Covid-19, regardless of any pressure that they may face. may be suffering from clubs. "I am disappointed that the government has missed another opportunity to build the necessary trust with the public. We will continue to constructively examine the government's plans to ensure the best for everyone involved."