Carragher says he 'can't understand why' Watford players won't train

‘Training grounds are the safest place to be’: Jamie Carragher says he ‘can’t understand why’ Watford players including Troy Deeney are refusing to train after their club confirmed three positive coronavirus tests

  • Watford have had a player and two members of staff test positive for COVID-19
  • Several players have now refused to take part in Wednesday’s training session 
  • Captain Troy Deeney has already told club he feels unsafe to return to football 
  • But Jamie Carragher insists training grounds will be safe environments 
  • Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19

Jamie Carragher says he can’t understand why Watford’s players are staying away from training after the club confirmed three positive coronavirus cases on Tuesday night.

The Hornets reported half of all positive coronavirus cases of the 748 tests that were carried out by Premier League clubs on their return to group training.

The club’s captain Troy Deeney revealed he would not be reporting for training on Tuesday as he did not feel safe to return amid concerns for his son’s health, who has had breathing difficulties, and over the increased risk of catching the virus to BAME males.

Jamie Carragher says he can’t understand why Watford players are staying away from training

The Watford squad were informed about the positive tests late on Tuesday evening

And, according to The Athletic, more players have now joined Deeney’s stance after they were informed on Tuesday evening that one unnamed player and two members of staff at the club were diagnosed with the virus. 

Carragher, speaking on Sky Sports’ The Football Show, had sympathy with Deeney’s perspective, but maintains training grounds are safe environments. 

‘The problem is, it is about getting players onside and go with the flow of the Premier League’, he said.

‘Deeney has spoken about his worries, mainly with his son but also BAME people throughout society. 

Watford captain Troy Deeney had already stated his intention to stay away from training

‘You go into a barbers shop, you don’t know who is there but the people you are training with and playing against have all been tested so the training grounds are safer. 

‘If people are picking up Covid-19 through going into football clubs then it is a big worry – something wrong with testing or people not dealing with government protocols. 

‘The training grounds are safe. Players who tested positive have picked it up outside. 

‘I would get confidence as a Watford player going back to training knowing that the people who have got it are self-isolating. 

‘Yes I understand we all have different worries and concerns but in the main I would as a player feel confident going back if I was at Watford.’

Deeney revealed he would not report to training on Tuesday citing fears for son’s health

Three of the six positive coronavirus tests in the Premier League came from Watford

Those who have been infected are reported to be doing well and will now spend the next seven days in self-isolation as per government guidelines before being tested again at a later date.’

Those who have been infected are reported to be doing well and will now spend the next seven days in self-isolation as per government guidelines before being tested again at a later date. 

Graeme Souness added: ‘I think we have witnessed it in Germany, people have proven positive and they have gone into isolation and they are getting on with their league and I think the same would happen with us. 

‘Troy feels especially vulnerable and you get where he is coming from, you have to accept any player who would feel that. 

‘They feel feel especially vulnerable and I think anyone who doesn’t want to come back to work is justified, they are putting their family first. 

‘Hopefully when we get back to playing then the guys who don’t feel comfortable can garner some confidence. But it is an individual choice, people can’t fall out with players if they don’t choose to come back at this time.’

Watford manager Nigel Pearson also admitted last week that he was against a return

Deeney revealed earlier this week that he would not return to training after blasting the Premier League’s Project Restart plans, having insisted that players have not had answers to many ‘simple questions’.

He said: ‘It only takes one person to get infected within the group and I don’t want to be bringing that home.

‘My son is only five months old, he had breathing difficulties, so I don’t want to come home to put him in more danger.’

He added: ‘For black, Asian and mixed ethnicities, they’re four times more likely to get the illness, they’re twice as likely to have long-lasting illnesses — is there anything extra, additional screening, heart stuff to see if people have got problems with that? No. OK, well I feel that should be addressed.’

Deeney has called for more clarity on how coronavirus impacts ethnic minority players

This came after the club’s manager Nigel Pearson last week admitted that he was against a return.

‘God forbid we have a fatality,’ he told 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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