Manager Mark Robins has spoken about the challenge of keeping momentum for the Coventry City squad, and how the players are getting on during lockdown.
The Sky Blues squad have not trained together since 13th March when football was suspended due to the Coronavirus pandemic, and the City boss spoke about the change in circumstances in a 55-minute long Q&A which will be published later this week.
“It’s very frustrating but it’s necessary because ultimately people are losing their lives,” Robins said.
“I think it’s something you have to be mindful of. While it thankfully hasn’t affected me at this moment in time in terms of family, it’s affecting a hell of a lot of people and that’s what we have to be mindful of at this time.”
Speaking about the players training schedule, the furloughing process means that players are not under a requirement to train – but voluntary sessions are being made available by the Club.
“It’s really difficult because everything has stopped,” said Robins.
“The players have been furloughed, so we can’t do anything. It’s something that you think about all of the time – how the players are doing, what they are up to.
“They’ve had programmes and plans previously before they went into furlough, so they’ll have been doing some work, and I know that’s the case because we can follow that and they’ve been working hard really.
“On the back of that we’ve put things on for them but you can’t make them do anything, so it’s a case of voluntary stuff and there’s still an uptake for that. That’s all you can do.
“Ultimately we’re trying to get on with various things and various planning, and hopefully we can get back sooner rather than later.”
Despite the unprecedented circumstances, Robins and the squad are keeping in touch.
“We talk on a regular basis because that’s important,” revealed the Manager.
“Mental health is important – there is an avenue for them to access things for that if they feel they need to do so. Everybody seems OK, everybody is in good spirits – they are just raring to go and desperate to get back to work like everybody is."
When asked about how long he feels the squad needs before fixtures start again, Robins shared his thoughts on the training needs of the team.
“We need a month,” Robins said.
“It’s been over 5 weeks now since we last did anything together – the longer that goes on, the more time we need. If you look at pre-season generally, if you get a full pre-season it’s seven weeks, eight weeks so you’re getting into that territory now.
“Ultimately we have got to be ready to go when we get things lifted. Everybody is guessing on a lot of things at the moment because there is not enough information for anybody to be able to plan, but the plan just moves down the line.
“We’re ready to go as soon as these lockdowns are lifted. The EFL are in contact once a week, the rest of it is speculation. The things you look at one Sky or BBC or whatever, some of it is factual but a lot of it is speculation because no one knows.”
There will be more from the interview later this week, plus the 55-minute video version will be published this week too.
You can watch a video preview below...