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Tom Cleverley warns Project Restart in ‘jeopardy’ if a number of players test positive for coronavirus – The Sun

TOM CLEVERLEY warns Project Restart is in “jeopardy” if a host of players test positive for Covid-19 in the next phase.

And some Prem bosses — including Leicester’s Brendan Rodgers — want­ football’s return to be put back until the end of next month.


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 Tom Cleverley has warned Project Restart will be jeopardy if players start testing positive for coronavirus

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Tom Cleverley has warned Project Restart will be jeopardy if players start testing positive for coronavirusCredit: Getty Images – Getty

The second round of 996 tests revealed only two more positive results — from two different clubs.

That compared to six players and staff from three teams out of 748 samples in the first batch.

Another round of testing will take place tomorrow and on Tuesday.

Watford were missing SIX players due to Covid-19 — including skipper Troy Deeney and Adrian Mariappa — when training began this week.

And Hornets midfielder Cleverley insisted: “Phase one is as safe as going to the supermarket. But in phase two, you could be rubbing shoulders with 15, 20 guys on the same day.

“So if we get into phase two and there’s a sudden spike in positive cases, that puts the whole thing in jeopardy.

“Let’s wait for the information and the schedule on phase two and see if the players are happy with it.”

The Prem wanted to return to action on June 12 but there is a general acceptance that a week later is more likely.

And now some  coaches want more time which would push the timetable of games right up to Uefa’s August 3 deadline.

The initial round of testing at Watford revealed Mariappa and two staff members had contracted the disease.

Two more players stayed away from training because family members or close friends had also tested positive, while Deeney and two others opted not to join in phase one because of health concerns.

Cleverley added: “There was a lot of shock, especially for me. I am really close to Mariappa.

“I speak to him most days. We have been doing seriously tough two-hour sessions on an online workout.

“For someone who tested positive doing that sort of workout really did shock and worry me.

“Today I have been tested and you think that could be me, I have no clue that I have coronavirus.”

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Representatives of the 20 top-flight clubs will vote at a meeting on Wednesday whether to move to phase two — full- contact training.

Chelsea manager Frank Lampard insists the Prem can only return if it is safe for all players and staff.

The Blues have allowed N’Golo Kante to stay away from training because of fears for his safety — and are ready to let him skip the rest of the season.

And Lampard told the BBC: “We want to play what remains of this season but the most important thing is when it is safe for players and staff.

“We have seen much more important things in the world than football and that has been a bit of a reset for all of us.”

Manchester City became the final Premier League club to start phase one training yesterday.

Boss Pep Guardiola, whose mum died of Covid-19 last month, wore a mask as he put his players through their paces.

Simon Jordan asks players where they draw the line when it comes to Premier League return

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