Ben Davies: Players' fears over Premier League's return have eased

Wales and Tottenham Hotspur defender Ben Davies says he is 'desperate' for Premier League return.

Tottenham Hotspur and Wales defender Ben Davies says he and his team-mates are no longer reluctant over the Premier League's resumption.

The 27-year-old says players had feared frontline health services in England being diverted to football and away from efforts to fight Covid-19.

Spurs host Manchester United on 19 June after a break of more than 100 days.

"You want to make sure everybody is safe and able to cope before football [returns]," said Davies.

"But now we are close, we are desperate to play."

Davies told the Elis James Feast Of Football podcast leading players have debated balancing the top flight resuming against the needs of the National Health Service in the face of Covid-19.

"I think the biggest concern from all of us was would it be okay to play?" said Davies.

"Would we be taking ambulances from the NHS to be pitch-side? Or we have got paramedics where they could be used better [somewhere else]?

"That's a lot of the argument - football shouldn't be the main thing that is dominating in this climate."

Aston Villa host Sheffield United in the first Premier League game after lockdown at 18:00 BST on Wednesday, 17 June.

Davies says Tottenham's players have no concerns over returning to play while the virus has yet to be eradicated in the UK.

"Honestly, no, not in our team," he said.

"We have trained for a couple of weeks now. We are still doing everything right - we are still not allowed in the building unless it's for gym [and then] everything is separate - everything is wiped down.

"But everybody feels ready now. If we are doing full contact training then it gets to a stage where you just want to be competitive again."

He admits that training while in lockdown via video links with manager Jose Mourinho watching on was in itself a test of players' mettle.

"He was not getting involved, he was just telling us what to do. The boys were working hard pretty much from the off," said Davies.

"Then we did individual sessions with one coach, straight in, straight out.

"That was tough again. When you are on your own with a coach there's no hiding in the session, so that's flat out.

"The last couple of weeks have been tough. As far as physically goes, I can't wait to start.

"I think that's how everybody in our team feels. We are ready to go, we are desperate to get going again."

What will Davies' mother hear?

And when games do get going again, they will be played in empty stadiums while being beamed into the homes of fans craving the chance to see their heroes in action.

That unfamiliar scenario brings its own perils as far as Davies is concerned, particularly what his mother might be able to hear from the pitch.

"I think it's going to be weird... we played a game at the stadium the other day, in house 11 v 11," he said.

"I think we are going to do that a couple of times this week just to get used to that feeling.

"You have got to motivate yourself. There's no crowd telling you what to do or anything like that, it's purely just the boys sorting it out between themselves.

"You have got to get used to hearing your team-mates battering you when you give the ball away because the crowd won't drown it out.

"I just hope my mother doesn't have the language turned up too loud."

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