ManchesterCitytook part in their first full-contact training session on Saturday as clubs prepare for the return of the Premier League.
PepGuardiolaoversaw his players at a sunny City Football Academy at the weekend as the squad prepare for a potential comeback date of June 17 in a rearranged game with Arsenal.
The Blues were away from the training ground for two months while football was suspended, and were thelast Premier League club to returnto any form of training. A week on from their first session and a few days after they first undertook small group training, the squad have now enjoyed their first full-contact session.
Leroy Sane andAymeric Laportewere among the players involved, with the time away from football allowing those players to recover from injuries to leave Guardiola with no worries on that front as he begins to prepare his squad for another hectic run of fixtures beginning next month.
Despite the optimism from the government and the Premier League over the return of the football and the morale boost it would provide, league chief executive Richard Masters cautioned that there is still a lot of work to be done before the season can pick up again.
However, teams are now working towards the planned date of June 17 until told otherwise. “When it’s a special situation around the world, you have to adapt,” Guardiola said this week.
“Well I think all the fans around the world are waiting to watch football. We want to come back but now the priority is other things. It’s still stay safe, be careful and when everything is possible we will come back. First, I think without them, but hopefully we come back to a routine.
“But now the most important thing is to follow the instructions. If they say use a mask, stay at home, social distance…we have to do it. Because there are many, many people in the NHS who put their own lives at risk to save ours.
“It’s incredible what they have done, and we have to follow them. Now, we cannot do anything wrong.”