‘We’re excited to get back training again’ - Lambert on Blues’ return to Playford Road

PUBLISHED: 06:00 20 July 2020 | UPDATED: 10:24 20 July 2020

Paul Lambert and his Ipswich Town players return to training this week. Picture: ROSS HALLS

Paul Lambert and his Ipswich Town players return to training this week. Picture: ROSS HALLS

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Ipswich Town boss Paul Lambert will be a happy man when he has his Ipswich Town players back in training this week.

Ipswich Town players are scheduled to return to pre-season training this week. Photo: Ross HallsIpswich Town players are scheduled to return to pre-season training this week. Photo: Ross Halls

The Blues’ squad are due to return to Playford Road later this week, having not trained together since March 13 due to football being shut down during the early stages of the coronavirus crisis.

The return to training represents the beginning of preparations for the 2020/21 campaign and, while there is still no confirmed start date for the new season, manager Lambert is excited to have his players back.

“Of course we’re really looking forward to getting out there and training again, it’s been a long time and will be great to see the players together,” he said. “But just as important will be to get to the training ground and see everybody.

“You miss the people the most. I’m talking from James Pullen the kit man to Adam (Gooderham) the chef and all of the staff, everyone. That’s what I miss, meeting those really important people at the training ground.

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“We just want to get back to that and get back training again because it’s been such a long time.

“We’ve basically missed two pre-seasons because of this, that’s 20-odd weeks off, so it’s going to be a tough job getting people back up to speed.”

The most likely date for the League One season to begin is September 12, with discussions continuing between clubs and the EFL, meaning Town have eight weeks to prepare for the new campaign.

Ipswich’s return to training begins with a full round of coronavirus testing for both players and staff, organised by the EFL, which will need to be conducted twice week.

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Town will return at phase one of the EFL’s ‘protocol for return to first team training’ which will mean training in groups of up to five while keeping to social distancing guidelines. Phase two involves closer contact and bigger groups. The Ipswich players will arrive at the training ground already changed into their kit with no use of dressing room or canteen facilities permitted.

As things stand there are no scheduled pre-season friendlies, though the Blues are understood to have had early discussions with nearby EFL clubs regarding build-up games. Any pre-season matches are likely to be played at clubs’ training grounds.

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