O'Neill: Difficult to Plan for Pre-Season
Wednesday, 17th Jun 2020 12:22
Blues general manager of football operations Lee O’Neill says it’s very hard to plan for pre-season ahead of the 2020/21 campaign with its start date still up in the air and believes sides could end up having to play two games every week in order to get through their fixtures.
A September beginning has been mooted, either behind closed doors or in front of a limited number of fans, however, a number of clubs are understood to want to wait until supporters are able to attend games en masse, which is likely to be in the new year.
The 2019/20 League One season was suspended on March 13th and then finally brought to an early end last week but with no official comment so far on when the new season might get under way.
“We are completely in the unknown at the moment so it’s very difficult to plan for any pre-season schedule,” O’Neill told the club site.
“We have looked at different scenarios but one thing is clear, this pre-season will be totally different for the players and the staff.
“It will be the longest ever the players will have been away, when you think the last game was March 7th.
“You will be talking six months before a competitive game if we start in September so the longer we have them back and get them conditioned for a season of football, the better.
“The Euros [European Championships] are due to start in June and I would expect that to provide a deadline the Premier League will have to work to. I don’t know whether we will have to follow that schedule or not.
“If we don’t start until September or October, you are looking at playing two games a week every week, especially when you feed in cup matches.”
Town had already booked a pre-season trip to Germany in July but that now won’t take place with pre-season games likely to be behind-closed-doors friendlies at training grounds.
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