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Interviews

Wilder talks training and testing

21 May 2020

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Chris Wilder has paid tribute to the relevant authorities and individuals for the 'enormous amount of work' that has happened to enable Premier League clubs to safely return to training this week.

Speaking via Skype on Wednesday, the Blades boss remarked: "There's been an enormous amount of work gone on through staff, medical staff, doctors, other people at the Club to provide a safe environment and an enormous amount of credit should go to those guys to get our football club back up and running and taking those small steps.

"My players have been led brilliantly by the skipper (Billy Sharp) and have all shown the same desire to get back to work. They possibly didn't enjoy the running aspect of training when they were doing 2000m run though.

"They've worked hard to get into this position, as professional footballers they've worked hard to get to the Premier League and the position that we are in now. They, like everyone else, want to get back training, playing and doing their bit.

"There's an enormous amount of enthusiasm in this country regarding our game and I should imagine that anybody that loves or is involved in it from a playing and coaching point of view, administration point of view, media point of view and most importantly from a supporting point of view, we've all missed it and looking forward to getting it back.

"It's going to be different, obviously looking at the Bundesliga over the weekend it was a little bit eerie. The pace and tempo of the games weren't as it would have been in front of 50,000 people, but I think it will get better, it will get quicker. The players will pick it up quickly and we're confident that our players will do that."

The United chief has also heaped praise on the Club for the dignity it's shown throughout the current pandemic and the 'experts' both internally and externally that have given his players the best possible chance to ready themselves for a return to top-flight action in the coming weeks.

Wilder added: "Our challenge is that we don't have the infrastructure of the facilities of the majority of other Premier League clubs, but we have to adapt and work it out. As a football manager and through my early coaching career, you have to adapt off the pitch as well as on it.

"It's not just us, the doctors that have been involved in the process have worked magnificently to get the football club up and running. As we all know and Stephen Bettis touched upon it, it's not just about what happens on a Saturday afternoon. It's what the Club is about, it's the 700 people the Club employs, the effect it has on our great City.

"Being on these calls and knowing what our Club has done, being involved with the Premier League experts, and I keep saying this, they are the experts, they wouldn't lead us down a path of danger and we're taking our lead off them. My players have shown an enormous amount of enthusiasm to get back working and competing.

"We went through the process (of testing) last Friday. There's obviously Premier League confidentiality and data protection in terms of talking about how the tests have gone. There's been a couple of cases that have been detected from over 750 tests. I know Ian Woan has been detected with it, as well as one player (at Watford).

"I'm not surprised by the numbers because I know how healthy the players are, what lengths they have gone to make sure they do their bit and are responsible and disciplined in their approach to this awful virus that has affected the nation.

"Our next test is on Friday and we will be tested twice a week and that is above and beyond any other profession in the country and that shows the lengths that the Premier League are prepared to go to in order to get football back up and running.

"It has got Government backing and it has got NHS backing. So, from a morale and social point of view, everybody seems happy with the situation."


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