How Chris Wilder's squad are attempting to stay sharp through football's coronavirus shutdown
Sheffield United are set to implement a series of special measures designed to ensure their players remain in peak condition after the decision was taken to close their training complex due to the threat of coronavirus.
Bramall Lane has also been effectively closed to the public, with a statement issued by the Premier League club announcing offices at the stadium will not reopen until next Monday.
The Steelphalt Academy, where the first team squad and United’s age-group sides prepare for matches, will remain under lockdown for a further week.
Despite the uncertainty surrounding English football - all competition across England’s leading four divisions has been suspended until next month at the earliest - Chris Wilder and his players will continue to ensure they are ready to return to action when the fixtures resume.
That is expected to see coaching staff devise a series of individually tailored programmes should they be instructed not to congregate together or ordered into self-isolation; as government health advisors look set to ramp-up their response to the health crisis.
Those are likely to be relayed via an application, which all members of United’s sporting department have installed on their mobile telephones, which allows them to provide updates about their health and well-being before reporting for work.
Confirming United have cancelled all public appearances until further notice, a spokesperson said: “Following advice from club medical personnel, we are suspending indefinitely all non-essential business, which includes player appearances, training ground visits and fan meetings.”
“As we navigate these challenges, The Blades will continue to work closely with the Premier League and medical staff within the club and keep our supporters informed with all the latest developments,” they added. “This is clearly a rapidly evolving situation and the measures which we have taken so far are part of a collective effort to combat the virus.
“We know you will understand that the protection of public health is the priority above all else and will join us in following best practices.”
United had climbed to seventh in the table, only five points behind the Champions League places, when Saturday’s visit to Newcastle and their forthcoming FA Cup quarter-final against Arsenal fell victim to the blanket postponement.