Kenny McLean: It’s hard to think about football right now

The Scotland midfielder says the national team need to put the play-offs to one side.

McLean is training at home while the shutdown continues. SNS
McLean is training at home while the shutdown continues.

Scotland midfielder Kenny McLean revealed the Norwich group chat is under doctor’s orders in a bid to safely negotiate the coronavirus crisis.

The 28-year-old, like all footballers across the United Kingdom, is in a state of limbo due to the pandemic which has halted the game both at home and abroad.

The Premier League and English Football League have suspended all fixtures until April 30 at the earliest but there is speculation that a longer lay-off will be required.

The Canaries squad are set to return to training on April 5, although that is subject to change and McLean told the PA news agency how football has become secondary at the moment to “more important things going on in the world”.

“Nobody has been really mentioning the football side of things,” he said.

“The doctor has been added to the group chat and he has been basically keeping us up to date with everything and telling us what to do.

“That’s what our group chat consists of just now.

“We have been told to stay away and we have our individual programmes.

“The club have delivered bikes and some other equipment to the boys so that we can get on with it.

“We sign in to a programme every morning and we have an app that we need to complete just to make sure we are doing our stuff so luckily you don’t need to leave the house too much.

“As it stands, we are in on April 5 so we will see how that goes.”

The former St Mirren and Aberdeen player admits that under the present circumstances it is difficult to focus too much on club or country.

Scotland’s Euro 2020 play-off semi-final against Israel at Hampden Park – the winners take on Serbia or Norway away in the final – was due to take place on Thursday night but has been pushed back, with UEFA’s hope that it might be concluded in the summer with the finals rescheduled for next year.

On the club front, Norwich are bottom of the Premier League, six points from safety with nine games remaining.

“It is hard to think about the position we are in and the games with Norwich and Scotland with the way things are going,” said McLean.

“When we got told to stay away I think everybody knew international games would be called off and then after a couple of weeks realised that the Euros wouldn’t be going ahead this year.

“Obviously everybody in Scotland was looking forward to, hopefully, two big games coming up but it is just one of those things, the Israel game will come around at some point and we just need to be ready when it does.

“We found ourselves in a pretty poor position at Norwich but we felt we were getting a bit of momentum.

“I think the games will come thick and fast if we get the league back up and running. We need to keep ourselves as fit as possible and be ready.

“It does seem a long, long time from going in every day for training and seeing the boys. It feels a lot longer away than it has been.

“Unfortunately, we can’t affect anything now, in terms of playing football so we just need to get on with it. Right now we just have to look after each other.”


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