Premier League managers speak out as teams return for group training
- Burnley boss Sean Dyche has been the latest Premier League manager to speak as group training resumed this week.
- Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp was among those who have spoken recently as a Premier League restart nears.
The UK's Project Restart took another step forward with the introduction of small-sided group training sessions for the first time since March's suspension of play earlier this week.
Although contact training is not permitted until May 26 at the earliest, the latest developments are an improvement on previous regulations.
They stated EPL players could only train individually but now social distancing rules apply to group sessions instead, meaning small numbers scattered across separate pitches.
Dyche pleased as Premier League players return
Dyche, whose Burnley side sit 10th in the Premier League, is happy with the condition his players have returned in after an enforced two-month break.
Having returned at the Barnfield Training Centre for their first session on Tuesday afternoon, their spirits are high despite these uncertain times.
As quoted by the club's official website, he said:
"The players are good. They are clear-minded at the moment. We've offered them the chance, as we go, that if there are any doubts or question marks then speak freely, but they are really clear-minded. They have come back fit and well, they look sharp and like they want to get back to it - very positive about being out there."
It's perhaps why Dyche stressed the players' professionalism as there is still work to be done:
"If they say the kick-off date is three weeks, we work for three weeks. They're strange times so I don't expect it to all be perfect and it's everything we want.
"It's part of being a professional - there are lots of different challenges come your way and this is just another one of them."
Premier League bosses Klopp and Mourinho also speak
Elsewhere in the Premier League, Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp likened the Reds' returning to training with the "first day at school," admitting his happiness at seeing some of his players.
"It felt like the first day at school; for me, it was 46 years ago, but it must have been similar. I dressed myself in my uniform again - and for the right reason, for going to training.
"I drove to Melwood and was really happy to see all the boys. I didn't see all [of the players] yet, only 10 of them and the coaches, which is a good start, I would say. They all look in good spirits."
Last week, Tottenham head coach Jose Mourinho cited the Bundesliga's return as another reason why the Premier League should follow suit, when it's safe to do so. He said:
"I want to train and am desperate for the Premier League to return as soon as it's safe to do so, particularly now as we are seeing other leagues preparing to return to action.
" I am extremely proud of the way my players have maintained their fitness - they have shown great professionalism, passion and dedication."
Tottenham sit eighth in the Premier League on 41 points. However they may find themselves involved in a battle for positions with the surrounding teams - Burnley included - when the 19-20 season is deemed safe to resume. Suggestions claim this will occur in mid-June.