Ben Osborn hints at how Sheffield United's coronavirus-hit season could be completed as he reveals Newcastle United 'debut' frustration

Ben Osborn, the Sheffield United defender, has described the moment he realised coronavirus had robbed him of a first start in the Premier League after revealing the Blades are "desperate" to finish the current season.

Tuesday, 24th March 2020, 11:57 am
Updated Tuesday, 24th March 2020, 11:58 am

The 25-year-old was in line to replace the injured Enda Stevens at St James' Park against Newcastle, before all professional football was suspended because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Osborn revealed he initially thought the game would be played behind-closed-doors, before news that Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta and Chelsea player Callum Hudson-Odoi had tested positive for coronavirus.

That news resulted in the postponement of all football until early April, which has since been extended until the end of that month - at the very earliest.

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United have now told their players to train at home for the next two weeks in an effort to contain the spread of the virus.

And Osborn, asked on the I Had Trials Once podcast how the suspension had affected him personally, admitted: "I was due to make my first Premier League start [at Newcastle].

"I was oblivious. I saw the news on Thursday and was like 'it definitely won't get called off. It's gonna be a bit weird, making my first start behind closed doors, but it won't get called off.'

"Then I went into training and the lads were like 'it's 100 per cent off'. I was like 'what?'

Ben Osborn trains at Sheffield United: Simon Bellis/Sportimage

"I was gutted on a personal level but then you see the severity of it. It's one of those things.

"There have been some ludicrous suggestions about what happens to the season.

"We're desperate to finish it and by the sounds of it, it's definitely going to get finished. We're hearing it could be played behind-closed-doors, with two or three games a week to try and smash it out.

"That's what we're hearing."

As The Star revealed earlier this week, United's players are now training at home.

"As a club we have a responsibility to help prevent further spread of the virus, hence the measures that have been taken,” chief executive Stephen Bettis said.