Watford legend John Barnes is not expecting players to be affected by the lack of supporters in stadiums when the Premier League restarts next week. The former England international acknowledged there would be a degree of strangeness without fans generating atmosphere inside the grounds, but believes players will not let it get to them.
John Barnes said “Players train with intensity and determination on a daily basis, so playing without supporters and the noise shouldn’t be an issue, It’ll probably be a bit strange, especially when scoring, as there won’t be anyone there cheering when you’re doing your backflips or whatever, but other than that, I think players are just happy to be back to some kind of normality; but also knowing that they’ll be watched by millions of people on TV. And for now, that’s very positive and a step in the right direction. There’s a lot of talk about players having a greater chance of getting injured after the layoff, when the Premier League returns in just over a week, However, I really don’t agree with this. We have a long layoff every year at the end of the season but in fact there is a difference in the layoff triggered by Covid-19 as players have been busy doing exercises…at least most of them. So therefore they will come back in a better state than what they would at the start of the season. But of course there will be injuries, but those injuries won’t be down to the fact that they’ve had a long layoff. I’ll probably say there are lesser injuries, coming back now, then coming back up at the beginning of a season after you’ve had longer layoffs and they’re probably putting on a few pounds by eating more and drinking alcohol.”
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