Coronavirus: Dean Smith says Villa could be without two players if league restarts

Aston Villa manager Dean Smith spoke of the complications that may arise for his squad if the Premier League restarts.

Aston Villa manager Dean Smith applauds the faithful   -  Getty Images

Dean Smith says Aston Villa could be without two players if the Premier League season is able to resume.

Football remains suspended in England amid the coronavirus pandemic, although the Premier League has been looking at ways to get back playing as part of plans it has termed "Project Restart".

Matches played behind closed doors and possibly at neutral venues have been discussed with some reports suggesting games could begin again by June 12.

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Villa boss Smith discussed the complications around resuming on Sky Sports' The Football Show, explaining one player in his squad is asthmatic and another has a vulnerable family member living at his home.

"Everybody wants to get back into training but they also want to see what the medical protocols are first," he said. 

"There's a certain risk attached to the return to training for all players and I think they want to make sure they tick the boxes so it's safe to do so.

"We've got a player who is asthmatic, we've got a player whose mother-in-law is in remission and living with the family. You have to be very careful, certainly the transmission knows no boundaries.

"From what I'm told, we have to be led by the government at the moment. There's a lot of hypothetical questions out there at the moment but until we get the guidance from the government about how they want to move forward out of this lockdown there are a lot more questions than there are answers at this moment.

"The players' health and safety is paramount and if they're not comfortable to return then you have to return without them, when it's safe to do so. 

"We have to listen to our players, we have to listen to their concerns. If the protocols say we can move forward then the ones who can do will do so."

Villa was 19th in the table, two points from safety but with a game in hand prior to the suspension of the league.

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