Coaches call for a pre-season before competitive football returns

It’s not yet fully clear when football will return after the Coronavirus pause, but when it does there will be a need for players to get back into match rhythm.

That’s the opinion of various coaches, who spoke with MARCA to discuss their concerns about this unprecedented situation.

“The fair thing when they return would be for all of the teams to have the same time to have a pre-season, whether that’s seven, 10 or 14 days,” Unai Emery said when asked about the situation.

“I would be placing a lot of trust in the staff working in the performance department, which is made up of physios, doctors and fitness coaches.

“They’re the ones who will determine what state the players return in.”

Gustavo Poyet also believes there will be a need for a sort of pre-season before a return to competitive football.

“It will be necessary to have a pre-season if the players can’t train, and by that I mean run, jump and play with the ball,” the Uruguayan coach said.

Another Uruguayan coach, Diego Forlan, echoed that sentiment.

“It’s hard to know right now, but I think we’ll need at least two weeks to prepare for top-level football when we come back,” the former Villarreal and Atletico Madrid striker stated.

Javi Gracia and Gregorio Manzano are also in agreement about the need for the players to properly prepare.

“If things stop 100 percent then there’ll be a need for a pre-season,” Gracia said.

“If it all stops for a month or longer then there will be a need for 10 to 15 days,” added Manzano.