John Ruddy convinced Premier League football will return with players in ‘safer environments than offices’ – The Sun

JOHN RUDDY is convinced English football will return next month.

While some Premier League players have reservations, the vastly-experienced Wolves keeper is extremely optimistic the season will be completed.

 John Ruddy is Wolves' back-up goalkeeper
John Ruddy is Wolves’ back-up goalkeeperCredit: AP:Associated Press

Ruddy and his team-mates return to training today and here, the former England international gives his reasons why he believes the correct protocols will be in place for a restart.

Manchester City’s Sergio Aguero, Manuel Lanzini of West Ham and Anthony Knockaert, the Brighton winger on loan at Fulham, do not believe players should be returning so soon.

Ruddy, whose club is still involved in the last 16 of the Europa League, said: “Everything has to be safe for the players and our families – obviously that is the most important thing – but I don’t see it should be a problem with football restarting.

“Look at when people start going back to offices to work. As footballers, we will be in the safest environment possible. Everything with us will be sanitised and clean. At training grounds and at the stadiums, everyone we work with will have been tested from the players to the kit man.

“If you work in an office – and lots of people will be having to go back to them – there will be no guarantees in terms of whether colleagues have the coronavirus. You might not know the person you are sitting near and even if you do, you might not know who that person has been mingling with. Even so, people will still work again.

We trust our doctors -ours at Wolves is one of the best out there – and we trust the information relayed by himself, our manager and Jeff Shi

John Ruddy

“We are of the mindset that if the club believes we are safe and have the right protocols in place, then we have no reason to question them.

“We trust our doctors -ours at Wolves is one of the best out there – and we trust the information relayed by himself, our manager and Jeff Shi [Wolves chairman].

“As players, we have had more time off at this stage then anyone has had off in their own careers and that is a fact.

“We are, as professionals, itching to get back. As athletes, we are itching to get back. But it must be done with safety in mind at all times.”

 Premier League clubs have agreed to play at eight neutral venues if the Government agrees football can restart


Premier League clubs have agreed to play at eight neutral venues if the Government agrees football can restart

Ruddy, 33, made his England debut in a friendly against Italy in Switzerland in 2012 and was on the bench for a further 13 senior internationals.

The former Norwich keeper has played 60 times for Wolves, with six of those coming this season.

The 6ft 4ins stopper is relishing the prospect of returning to the club’s Sir Jack Hayward Training Ground today although the players will train individually.

Ruddy said: “We are getting assurances at Wolves about being looked after.

We will all be tested regularly as we need to be. If we do not test positive, we crack on.

“We are having individual sessions this week with a view to having smaller groups next week and then, hopefully, we all join together.

“Obviously, it must certainly not be rushed but we are all competitors. So as competitors, we want to get the season finished.

“Ultimately, there is too much riding on not finishing the season. I understand that people are saying it is about money but as players, we have things to play for. The integrity of the competition is at stake.

“As a result, you want to complete the season and you must have relegation.

“I think the TV companies can turn around and televise more games. Everyone is desperate to watch football again.

“With football fans, it will give everyone such a lift to have something to look forward to. The Germans have found a way to get around that.”

Wolves are currently sixth in the Premier League while they are in the last 16 of the Europa League, having drawn 1-1 in the first leg of their last 16 clash away to Greek side Olympiakos.

The biggest issue among Premier League clubs is the subject of staging all the games in neutral venues.

That is likely to be one issue spoken about by the clubs at today’s Premier League video conference although there will not be a vote. This will not happen until next week.

Wolves’ Molineux stadium is one of the grounds which has been considered as a natural venue.

Ruddy added: “I can understand why people are maybe a bit worried in terms of games being played home and away at all the stadiums.

“Goodison Park and Anfield, for example, are in the middle of residential areas and that becomes a risk.

“I think there are enough stadiums we can make it work with neutral venues and everyone can accommodate it. That is why I really hope we can get this season done.”

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