Reading FC suspend training as players go into self isolation

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Mark Bowen

Reading FC has confirmed that all players have been told to stay at home this week after following expert medical advice.

The Royals had been training last week at their training ground at Hogwood Park as of last week, but in a bid to take social distancing measures, the squad are self isolating from this week. 

Speaking to BBC Radio Berkshire at the weekend, Reading manager Mark Bowen said: “We’re all worried about our health and our families. But the players, the staff, the fans, everybody is in this together. 

“And together we’ve just got to fight our way through it. Hopefully things will get better sooner rather than later and football gets underway again. And with performances and results we can get our fans smiling again and forgetting the troubles of the world. 

“We found that the game last Saturday against Stoke City was postponed and then over the weekend we lost two or three players to self isolation. All were precautionary but they were both told to stay at home. 

“As the week went on we made a decision to carry on training the best we could we had good numbers.

“They had Wednesday off and on Thursday a couple more players had a few cold symptoms and we didn’t want to take any chances with any of the players so they stayed at home.”

The Championship season is currently suspended until at least the end of April with Bowen stating that health is very much the priority for everyone at the football club, but expressed his preference for the season to be completed if possible.

“Everybody knows that physical health takes preference over everything,” Bowen continued. 

“But from a football point of view, of course if we can get the season done, if we can draw a line under it and move on, then there is no confusion on the outcomes.

“If you can get those nine games in three or four weeks, behind closed doors or whatever it might take, then we can get the season done.

“The key question is when do you start again, you could put a date on it and then when you get to that date, you could have a large number of players missing with the virus or isolation.

“We have worries, but our worries are nothing compared to those who might lose their jobs, lose their business, not have enough money in their pockets. We are in the football industry and are very privileged. Compared to many, our worries pale into insignificance. 

“People look forward to watching football. And if football is being played it gives people a focus. That is why I hope we can back out there to help our fans through these difficult times.”

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