Chelsea manager Frank Lampard has insisted his players will need a proper pre-season as he wrestles with getting his side back to fitness for Project Restart.
The Premier League as desperate to get action back underway behind closed doors, with crunch talks set for Monday on finally getting football back on track from June 12.
However, top clubs have already thrown a slight spanner in the works by delaying training for a further week, and Lampard now admits worries over his players’ fitness while in lockdown.
Speaking via videolink with key worker and lifelong Blues supporter Dr Panos Theodoropoulos, Lampard talked all things Chelsea while applauding those on the front line for all of their hard work they’ve done during the pandemic.
Lampard said: “It was really important, firstly, for me and the staff, to make sure everyone was mentally alright with this sudden change which means you can’t leave the house.
“Once we got our head around that, we’d try and keep in contact with the players all the time but we’ve given them daily plans. They train in the hour we were given in lockdown and you can be outside, we gave them running plans.
“They run and then we change the plans every week. We don’t make them run everyday, sometimes we make them come off it slightly where they can then do some strength work at home.
“The hardest thing for us is when you don’t know the return – were so used to building up for a game next week so its hard. How many runs can you give them? So we change it up.
“Not only is it a long break but for big parts of that break they’ve been sitting down on the sofa. They haven’t been getting as active as they normally would be.’ Lampard admitted.
“We will need to play that one by ear and see what period of time we get, whenever we do go back.
“They’re talking about going back in smaller groups, which is how we’ll probably start and that will be more about maintaining fitness and then stepping it up. We need some form of a pre-season and proper training for three or four weeks.”