Sheffield United begin partial return to training
Sheffield United have confirmed their players will be reporting for duty at the Steelphalt Academy this week to “undertake testing and specific sessions” as the club prepares for a return to Premier League action.
After training individually at home for over a month, following the introduction of measures designed to help fight coronavirus, Chris Wilder’s team have now received permission to resume work at the complex in Shirecliffe.
However, a statement confirming the move stressed that United will continue to adhere to government social distancing guidelines, with squad members being invited back on an individual rather than group basis.
“Sheffield United players are individually returning to training at our Shirecliffe complex this week to undertake testing and specific sessions,” a Bramall Lane spokesperson said. “Club officials, with guidance from medical staff, have drawn up revised individual programmes and will use technology available to monitor the progress of players from a safe distance.”
“It should be stressed that players and staff are adhering to strict medical guidance and giving wider consideration to wider government and medical advice,” the spokesperson added.
The move, which sees United follow in the footsteps of Arsenal who have also partially reopened their training base near St Albans, comes as PL members prepare for a summit meeting on Friday where they are expected to outline plans for matches to begin again in June.
The step has been endorsed by both Downing Street and health chiefs tasked with tackling the spread of the respiratory disease.
United were seventh in the table - five points behind fourth-placed Chelsea having played a game less than the Londoners - when the fixture calendar was suspended because of the pandemic a month-and-a-half ago.
With some countries deciding to abandon their seasons altogether, Wilder believes the "integrity" of the sport in this country would be at risk if similar steps are taken here.
"I believe we've got to finish it," he has said. "I think we should finish this season first and then look at how we do the next one, rather than trying to think about next season now.
"Finishing this season has got to be the sole focus."