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Watford netminder Gomes not in favour of Premier League return

Stephen Doyle
Stephen Doyle

17:04 27 May 2020

Watford goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes believes that the Premier League should only return to action when every player feels safe to do so.

The English top-flight took another major step towards a mid-June return today after a vote was passed to allow contact training.

The clubs started non-contact training last week, although some players opted out over coronavirus concerns - including Hornets captain Troy Deeney whose son suffers with breathing difficulties.

"Of course Troy has his reasons because he has someone at home, especially his son, and of course he needs to look after him," Gomes told Sky Sports.

"The way we are taking protective [measures], most of the clubs in the Premier League are taking them and creating a safe environment around the club.

"I believe it is very safe for us to be there."

Deeney is the club's top scorer this season with six goals.

His physical presence leading the line is also crucial for a Watford side who are only kept out of the relegation zone thanks to a superior goal difference compared to third-from-bottom Bournemouth.

"We can not afford to lose a player like Troy Deeney," added Gomes.

"Of course we have other players that can fill this gap but it is probably not the same because he is there for the whole campaign.

"He is at the club for ten years. We need him, we need everybody to be on board."

The Premier League will continue to test players and staff at the various clubs for Covid-19 twice a week and discussions to resume the season, "when conditions allow" are continuing.

Gomes is not happy with the season resuming in mid-June as he feels the smaller clubs could be at a disadvantage.

"I'm not in favour of the Premier League returning, in a sense that not everyone is comfortable with it," said Gomes.

"I believe the virus isn't going away from one day to another. We obviously hope it does, but the problem will remain until a vaccine is developed.

"So I'm not in favour because not every player is comfortable with returning now.

"Some players need more time and that can be a disadvantage to smaller clubs  as they don't have too many replacements.

"They don't have a powerful squad like [Manchester] United, Tottenham, [Manchester] City or Liverpool do. Not everyone can afford to miss a player because he fears the virus.

"I think we should only return when everyone is cool about it and we have more time for training and adapting.

"It would be good to realise that we are safe in this new normal."

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