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Coronavirus: Nigel Pearson worried about Premier League fatality if season resumes

"God forbid we have a fatality. People are closing their eyes to the threat"

Nigel Pearson
Image: Nigel Pearson has reservations about Project Restart

Watford manager Nigel Pearson has raised concerns about a coronavirus-related death in the Premier League and urged caution before a decision is made about whether to resume the season.

Clubs could be back in some form of training next week following a Premier League meeting on Monday, when medical protocols will be discussed and voted on, while the campaign could be up and running again by mid-June.

Pearson has some reservations about Project Restart and called for a more pragmatic approach with the country still very much in the grip of a pandemic.

"God forbid we have a fatality," he said in The Times. "People are closing their eyes to the threat.

"Yes, we would like to restart it but it's got to be safe. We should be cautious. To ignore possibilities is foolhardy. It's about safeguarding people's health."

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Pearson is worried about the "weight on expectations" which has been placed on players by Boris Johnson and says "it is unreasonable to suggest that footballers and staff are obligated to make the nation feel better".

"If I've got my cynical head on I'm concerned our potential restart coincides with the relaxation of the lockdown rules," said Pearson.

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"We have to try to believe [Government] advice that we're being given that we've reached the peak but there's still an incredible number of people losing their lives through this.

"The death toll in the UK is anything between 33,000 and 38,000. That's filling our stadium and then filling it half again. It's a sobering thought."

Watford captain Troy Deeney also criticised Project Restart's plans to resume the season, insisting he is not prepared to put football above the health of his family.

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