Conor Coady: Wolves captain says playing behind closed doors is necessary but not ideal

Wolves captain Conor Coady says playing behind closed doors is “not the most ideal situation” but understands it is necessary if Premier League football is to return next month.

The government says it is “opening the door” for football to return in June and the Premier League has already started planning for matches to be played without supporters due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Wolves defender Coady has already played behind closed doors this season – in a Europa League draw at Olympiakos in March – and says although it is required, the situation is difficult to get used to.

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“I’ll be honest it’s really tough. From my point of view it was a tough game to play because it’s so different,” he told Sky Sports News.

“Supporters make this game. You live to play in front of supporters – the extra 10 per cent that they give you is huge on a football pitch.

“The adrenaline, the nervous energy that you get when you go out onto a football pitch all comes from that because you want to impress, you want to do well.

“But we understand that things moving forward aren’t normal. We understand that to get football back on that is one of the situations that we’re going to need to deal with but it’s not the most ideal situation.

“Ideally you’d play in front of 32,000 at Molineux cheering for Wolves and hoping that we win. It’s looking that for quite a long time that’s not going to be the case and so it’s up to us to adapt and move on as quickly as possible.”

Coady: It’s important we take little steps

Premier League captains – including Coady – held a meeting with the Premier League and medical experts on Wednesday afternoon to talk through the protocols which will be in place to make sure training is as safe as possible.

Mark Noble and Troy Deeney led calls for guarantees over player safety before football resumes, and Coady says he understands their concerns.

“The conversation [PL meeting] was fine,” he said. “All the players were brilliant in putting their point across on how they want to do things so hopefully it can move forward and the Premier League will do what they need to do.

“We respect everybody’s opinion and decision on how they want to move forward because this is such a horrible time.

“I can understand different points of view from everybody. I’ve got the same reservations – we’ve all got families – I’ve got three boys and a wife at home, but it’s a respect for other players and their decisions and that will always be the case with footballers and people in general so you’ll never take that away.

“People will come to their own decisions on how they want to move forward and we’ll respect that as players.

“It’s such a cautious situation and I can understand doing baby steps as we come in. We all want that date to say right Wolves are playing on June 12 or June 13, we all want that but I think we all realise that this is such a tough situation that we’re in and I think it’s important we take little steps at a time until we get ourselves back.”

‘We’re determined to get back on the pitch’

Premier League clubs could start training again next Tuesday if proposals are backed by players and managers and approved by the government and Public Health England.

Wolves returned to training this week for individual sessions and fitness training, where strict social distancing measures are in place and players are required to wash their own kit.

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“We’ve been back in training this week, training individually, and it’s been really good,” Coady said.

“It’s not normal and we want to get back to as close to normal as soon as possible but we have to go through these steps and the doctor, manager and staff have been fantastic with us.

“I can only speak for myself and the lads at Wolves and all the lads are determined to hopefully get back on the pitch and get playing football because from our point of view that’s what we want to get back doing as soon as possible.

“We love playing football, we love being out on the pitch. I think if we could get back it would be fantastic and that’s something to look forward to.

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