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‘We are planning for early April’ – Mowbray

Rovers manager gives his reaction to today's news that football fixtures have been postponed

13 March 2020

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Tony Mowbray has given his reaction to today’s unprecedented news that no professional football will be played in England until at least next month.

The manager confirmed that no first team players are currently showing any symptoms of Coronavirus and the squad trained as normal earlier today.

The Rovers boss says that the players will continue to train over the coming weeks – working towards the visit of league leaders Leeds United to Ewood Park on Friday April 3rd.

However, Mowbray says that he will review the situation on a daily basis and will be guided by updates provided by the football and medical authorities.

“Like everybody else, I found out at 11 o’clock this morning,” he said.

“We were just about to get on with our team shape and preparation for Bristol City, so we changed our training plan. We didn’t have to prepare for the game, so we just got a sweat on really. We got them playing football and made it pretty light-hearted.

“We then got everybody in the building in for an in-house team meeting with the Club Doctor, just giving guidance and how he sees the situation. I then sent them off for the weekend and we’ll be back in touch with everybody again on Monday to let them know what the next plan of action is.

“If the season is starting again on April 3rd, then we need to keep training. We can’t just turn up and think we’re ready to play a football match, so it will be ongoing.

“If anybody has symptoms, then they need to inform the club, myself or the doctor, and we will deal with each independent case as it comes along. We’ve not been faced by that situation yet at first team level. The full squad trained today.

“We will abide by what the EFL tell us moving forward, because what was yesterday’s news is now different today and no doubt tomorrow’s news might be different as well.

“So we’re all living a little bit day-to-day at the moment, but we do have to plan for the next football match in early April.

“If nobody’s showing symptoms, we should be coming in and training, and getting fit and staying fit, and getting ready for the next game, but there is a balance in that and anybody with any symptoms needs to self-isolate away from the team.

“It’s a really difficult one. I don’t think the authorities know. They’re taking it day-by-day. They’re listening to the Government and the health authorities, and I think we’re all playing it a day at a time at the moment, which is what we are trying to do.

“We are planning for early April – the next game – the team have to continue to train, of course. If anybody shows signs of illness they will self-isolate and stay away from the building, but they might have been training for three or four days with the rest of the players, so it might turn into one, two, three, four, five players and all of a sudden you’ve got a situation where you’re unlikely to be able to put a team out.

“Let’s wait and see how it all goes and live day-to-day on the situation.”

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