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💬 "Football worries pale into insignificance compared to what our NHS staff are going through, saving lives every day!"

Royals boss speaks to Talksport on life in lockdown at Reading and the priorities for all of football right now...

8 April 2020

Examples of courage and incredible hard work are being set by our keyworkers every single day during this global crisis and Royals boss Mark Bowen was full of awe at the efforts our NHS staff are putting in at such a difficult time.

"I’m sure they are not, but in a way they seem fearless," Bowen said of the NHS staff who are striving to save lives across the country.

"I'm sure there will be a lot of managers and coaches up and down the country who, when this is all finished, will be using these amazing people as examples when they are delivering their pre-match, half-time, post-match speeches in the dressing room.

"Football worries pale into insignificance when you think about what these people are doing. They go out there every day, they want to help and they want to save lives."

And Bowen, who was giving an update to Talksport on life in lockdown and what the future might hold for football, is sure football may have a role to play as this pandemic plays out.

"If we can get football started, I'm sure it will give the country a fillip, give the people something to be focused on.

"Football is our national game and everybody looks forward to the Saturday afternoons.  

"So football might help the country in the recovery period to all this. Before we reach the so-called 'peak' they keep tlking about, football obviously has to be on the back burner.

"But you hope and pray that further down the line we might be able to get back and get some sort of conclusion to the season."

"As it is, we’re trying to make the best of it, like we all are I suppose. It’s difficult, it’s strange circumstances.

"In football, you get the full range of players. You’ve got the family guys who are married and have two or three kids to look after during this period, but it's probably tougher for the 17 or 18 year-olds who might be living on their own in apartments. The young guys have so much energy, so much time on their hands, so it is very difficult for them.

"But as everyone realises, there are a lot more people worse off than we are. So we’ve just got to get on with it.

"We make contact with the players regularly, these days we’ve got WhatsApp groups already set up and we speak all the time.

"The players have all got their individual training programmes that our sports science department are trying to make sure they are adhering to.

"But even that can be difficult for the players, with no sort of focus for them in terms of when we might all start back.

"They’re professionals, they understand the situation – the training, the fitness programmes, the nutrition. So you're hoping that when eventually we do get back, we’re not too far behind the starting line."

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