Millwall's Gary Rowett: 'It's the older people most at risk – we have to do right by everybody'

GARY Rowett said Millwall were trying to "minimise the risk" as the coronavirus pandemic continues to impact all aspects of daily life in the UK.

On Tuesday evening, prime minister Boris Johnson advised people to avoid going to pubs and restaurants and there will be another daily briefing later on Wednesday.

Millwall's squad and management were continuing their work towards the fixture at Charlton on April 4 when they resumed training today.

"We gave the players four days off because we felt it was a chance to give them a bit of a breather, and to give them a chance to go home, stay with their families and make sure they're not travelling in every day and not being around other people," Rowett said.

"We're going to train for four days. It's only the staff that need to be there. We've got no kitchen staff, no admin staff. The 23s will train separately in the afternoon.

"It will just be the first team and it will just be in to train and away. We'll try to minimise the risk of seeing people and having lots of different people around who have been in contact with other people.

"So we'll train for four days and then we've got a few more days off and then we'll come in again. I know some teams have done it in different ways, some have given their players a lengthy spell off. My view is four days is a reasonable amount where you're not going to lose too much fitness.

"I think the key is to maintain a level that puts us at least at less risk when we do go back playing. We could go back to playing lots of games in a short period of time, so we need to still have that resilience in the players."

Millwall will continue to train until advised otherwise.

Rowett added: "If the government tells us we've got to do x, y, z, then whether we like it or not we have to follow the advice of the scientists and the main people who make the decisions in this country. It looks like it's the older people in the country who are most at risk so we have to do the right thing for everybody.

"We're like everyone else, there's been no real specific guideline yet, other than most people seem to be quite sensible – apart from the ones taking everything off the shelves rather than leaving it so there's a fair amount for everybody. The hysteria goes to silly levels.

"But I think most people are trying to stay at home, most people are not using public transport if they can help it. Of course businesses have to do what they can to survive because it's going to be a difficult period for everyone. We're the same, we're no different.

"No one has advised us not to train, no one has advised us to stay at home for seven days. No one has advised us about anything unless there's a case at the club or someone you've come into close contact with.

"We're just doing the best we can. The main thing is everybody's health, our family's health. It's just trying to get a balance."

Image: Milwall FC 

John Kelly