Football

Burnley manager Sean Dyche expecting odd results when EPL resumes

English Premier League players will need time to find their feet once the top-flight season resumes and the uncertainty surrounding their fitness and mentality could lead to surprising results, Burnley manager Sean Dyche has said.

English football was halted in mid-March due to the Covid-19 pandemic, but clubs are training in small groups as part of the EPL's "Project Restart", which envisages a return to play next month.

"You often notice that, at the beginning of a season or the end of a season, you get these odd results where teams are either finding their feet or playing out the season when other teams are fighting for something," Dyche told Sky Sports.

"You can get these anomalies. Some teams are talking about the mentality of their players with this idea that some players do not want to play.

"It will probably dissipate eventually, but you get to that first game and how focused is everyone going to be? That may give strange results."

Matches are set to be played in empty stadiums when the season resumes and Dyche believes that is yet another challenge players will have to deal with.

"TV cameras will be there and there will be arguably even more people watching than ever before through the screen. So there will be that feeling in the background of the game, but it will be peculiar," he added.

As part of the process to restart the season, EPL players and staff have undergone a second round of testing, with Bouurnemouth goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale the latest to return with a positive result on Sunday.

The England Under-21 international was left perplexed after he tested positive for Covid-19 in the second round of testing, three days after returning a negative result in the first batch of tests.

A SHOCK

"It's definitely a shock - I've not been in contact with anybody and I've now got it," Ramsdale told The Sun.

"I'm showing no symptoms, so the fact that a healthy young person could potentially have it is definitely scary and worrying.

"This last week, I've done the usual things like going to the supermarket and going to the petrol station to fill my car.

"I've been just as careful as before on lockdown and it seems to be a shopping trip where I've caught it."

The 22-year-old added that he was now self-isolating.

"Now I have seven days' isolation at home... It's not ideal, obviously, with training.

"The club have been fantastic. The players and especially the staff have been saying if we need anything to just ask. Things like shopping, they'll leave it at the door."

A total of eight cases of coronavirus among players and staff have been detected from 1,744 tests in the EPL. - REUTERS, AFP

Football