Millwall plan for 'worst-case scenario' as it could be months before football returns

THE MIllwall squad are in regular contact with the club's sports scientists and nutritionists as they try to maintain fitness with football suspended until at least April 30.

The Lions are due back to the training ground on April 3, but with so much uncertainty over how serious the Coronavirus pandemic could become that date could be pushed back.

Millwall boss Gary Rowett is currently in Derbyshire with his family, while loan players Luke Steele, Ryan Woods and Mason Bennett have also taken the opportunity to return to their respective homes.

Millwall's players have been given training programmes to follow at home, but Rowett also emphasised the importance for the squad to spend time with their families.

"The plans are pretty individual to what the players need, but at the same time obviously there are going to be some generic sessions," Rowett explained. "All players will need to do what the sports science team calls extensive work which will be in bigger, more open areas, some longer runs. Then there's the intensive work, which is the shorter stuff.

"We're trying to replicate as much as we can the sorts of things they would be doing in training. The strength and conditioning programmes are individual. As best they can they're going to be doing it at different times, different speeds.

"Jake Cooper, for instance, every now and then needs to sprint just to ensure that when he comes back he's not an injury risk, he needs to maintain his endurance, he needs to maintain his speed endurance also.

"There's quite a blend of different things players can do. They're in contact with the nutritionist just to make sure that while they're at home they don't do what everyone does, sat there bored, eating. That's probably not a great thing to do at this moment in time.

"We're trying to tick every box that we can tick. We've got to think worst-case scenario, that the season might start in two weeks' time, but the season might also start in two months' time.

"While we want the players to work, we don't want them to be doing something top-end twice a day. They still need a balance to what they do and they still need to spend time with their families.

"That's important. Take your kids on a bike ride one of the days of the week, get out for a run with them. We're trying to be flexible in terms of what the players are capable of doing also.

"The main thing is that they stay healthy with their families and secondary to that is we make sure they stay in good condition."

Image: Millwall FC 

John Kelly