Where I’d normally be talking to you in Saturday’s programme about Brentford and the previous two games we’ve played, I need to speak to you about something that’s way, way more important.
🥬 Royals donate fresh food to help feed homeless in Reading20 March 2020
Covid-19 has taken everyone in the world by surprise. But we’ve got good people in charge here, we’ve got an unbelievable NHS and we’re getting clear messages on how we can fight this. We need to listen to that advice.
Yes, not having football isn’t enjoyable at all – but this is way bigger than football and any other sport. So, if we can all stick together, follow what we’re being told as closely as we possibly can and respect the situation we’re in, then I believe we can come out of this stronger.
On the footballing side of things, up until this point, we’ve been able to continue as normal – which sounds crazy, considering there are no games at the end of the week. With everything that has been printed and spoken about football, it is hard to go on as normal, but the coaching staff here have done a great job.
We’ve been in training as we would have been for two Saturday games, getting some good work in during the week. They’ve made it as fun as possible, but we’ve been working towards a target as if we were playing on April 3rd. Now, that’s changed. We know now the earliest we’re going to play again will be the end of April, which again, is disappointing – but as I said earlier, the most important thing right now is fighting this virus.
Things might change, our plans might change. We’ve just been given a few days off to self-isolate as best we can, and we’ll be following all the messages and advice given by the Government.
But the work doesn’t stop. We’ve all been given individual training plans to complete to the best of our ability, involving a lot of body-weight exercises from home, muscle strengthening and maintenance work. It sounds like a cliché to say that we need to try and make the best of a bad situation, but we’ve got a really good group of lads here who are trying to do that.
Speaking from a personal point of view, I want to be playing games. It’s what we live for, it’s what we train for. I’m going to use this time now to take a little bit of a refreshment, it’s a good chance to be able to analyse your matches and performances, do some strength work and extra training sessions.
When we do get back on the pitch, we’ll be firing physically and mentally. We’ve just got to look forward to that now, so when the time comes, we’ll be ready.
Yes, this is a serious time, but we need to stay as calm as we can. We need to focus on the older and more vulnerable in society. Try and stay calm, try and stay positive, take an extra bit of time to think about things and help out where we can.
The older generation are coming into a time where it’s going to be difficult for them and a little bit scary, so let’s all rally together and come out of this on the other side, whenever that may be.
I'm really looking forward to seeing everybody back at the Madejski, hopefully to finish off the 2019-20 season as strongly as we possibly can, which will hopefully set us up strongly to move forward together.