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Mulgrew aims to strike the right balance

Defender discusses switching off physically & mentally, but remaining ready for football return

28 April 2020

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Charlie Mulgrew says it is important to try and strike the right balance between mentally switching off, but also remaining ready for when football does return.

The players are now into their seventh week of lockdown after the outbreak of the Coronavirus saw the Championship season suspended in mid-March, just 24 hours before Rovers were due to host Bristol City at Ewood Park.

The squad spent several weeks being put through their paces via a running App, before being advised to ‘down tools’, as they entered a three-week off season period earlier this month.

At 34, Mulgrew insists it is important that he keeps himself ticking over physically, whilst also focusing on being fully refreshed for when the season resumes.

“The first couple of weeks we had to sign up to an App and we were doing 5k and 10k runs, and some gym stuff, but we’ve been told to take a wee break from that because this is now like our summer holiday,” said the Scotland international.

“So we’ve done that, but it’s hard to do that as well. I don’t like completely switching off because to get back to it, especially at the age I’m at now, it’s harder.

“So I just keep myself ticking over with small runs or a bit of gym work or core work, and the games with the kids help as well, with all the running about.

“You need to switch off mentally as well as physically, so it’s getting the balance right so that you’re refreshed and ready to go when you do start running and getting back into it.”

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Mulgrew admits the uncertainty of when the players will return to training has made the current quarantine doubly difficult.

“That’s a bit stressful as well, not having a date, because in life you’re always set times and dates, which you can always work towards, so when you don’t have that it’s a bit uncertain,” he added.

“So that’s been a bit different and a bit unusual as well.

“Even when you leave for pre-season, you know that you’ve got five or six weeks off and you know exactly the date that you’re due back, so you can prepare those six weeks, whereas this time you just don’t know for certain.

“So it’s about trying to judge things yourself and getting the right balance between mentally switching off and physically switching off, but also keeping yourself ticking over and being ready to go again when it does come around.”

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The set-piece specialist, who has netted 27 goals in 99 league games for the club, is looking forward to Rovers resuming their current campaign and football returning to TV screens across the country, which he believes would give the whole nation a welcome boost, but he stressed that fixtures should only resume when it is absolutely safe to do so.

“The main thing is that the Government get it right and do whatever is safest for everybody and look after everybody in the UK and make sure that when we’re back it’s the right time to go back and it’s done in the right circumstances,” added the central defender.

“That’s the main thing and that’s what everybody’s main concern is.

“But we’re all desperate to get back to it and get the season done and hopefully finish the season really positively and get into those play-offs and then you never know what could happen.

“That’s what everybody is thinking. I think it’s at the front of everybody’s mind that we want to get back and get the season done in the safest way possible, whatever it takes. Whether it be testing the players or behind closed doors, whatever it takes, everybody wants to get back.

“And I think if football gets back, some TV games will give the nation a lift as well. So as long as it’s safe to do so, then I think the quicker we get this season started again and finished, then have a wee break and move on to the next, then I think that would suit everybody.”


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