Sheffield United hailed for 'leading the way' in terms of how they have organised their return to training
Sheffield United have been praised for the “excellent” way in which they organised the first team squad’s return to training during the Covid-19 pandemic, after midfielder Ben Osborn revealed the systems put in place at the Steelphalt Academy were far superior to those introduced elsewhere in the Premier League.
Although they resumed work - initially in small-sided sessions - towards the end of last month, Chris Wilder’s squad must still adhere to strict social distancing and hygiene guidelines when they enter the complex in Shirecliffe.
Contrasting how United have handled the situation with some other top-flight clubs, Osborn said: “The staff here have been unbelievable. Speaking to mates in the game elsewhere, it seems like our set up was ‘bob-on’ compared to some others.
“We all knew what we were doing. When we were in smaller groups to begin with, we had times given to come in and there was a member of staff telling us where to park, where to walk, where to go and then looking after us.
“To be fair, they (the staff) had everything sorted out. So that was great to see. It made it as easy as possible.”
“Our doctor has told us this is probably the safest place to be at the moment,” Osborn added. “There’s handwashing stations everywhere, you are tested twice a week and you are around people who have also been tested twice a week. So yes, I’m really happy.”
United were seventh in the table when the calendar was suspended in March - only five points outside the Champions League qualification positions with 10 matches of their league campaign remaining.
They will move to within two of fourth-placed Chelsea if they beat Villa at Villa Park on June 17.
“It’s been tough,” Osborn, reflecting on the break in action, continued. “But it’s been good to get back in with everyone.
“In ‘Phase One’ it was only groups of five so it was a bit like a conveyor belt, with different people coming in, you didn’t really see anyone outside of your group.”
“Now we’re on ‘Phase Two’, you see the lads more and that’s been really good.”