Gary Nevile makes Premier League demand affecting Aston Villa

Aston Villa news - clubs are expected to vote on contact training return in the latest phase of 'Project Restart'


Gary Neville has urged Premier League decision makers to restart by June 19 - claiming players don't need a lengthy pre-season type period before the season resumes.

It is now more than two months since the last Premier League fixture, with the coronavirus pandemic forcing sports into a lengthy suspension.

Top-flight clubs, including Aston Villa, have returned to training pitches, with Dean Smith's side resuming sessions at Bodymoor Heath last Monday.

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Villa will be keen for the season to resume, they currently find themselves in 19th place in the table, with their most likely chance of Premier League survival coming through fixtures being fulfilled.

Further talks are planned this week between league bosses, with the hope that contact training can return ahead of a possible return next month.

Some teams have voiced concerns over player fitness after such a lengthy break, but Neville has told Sky Sports that the majority should be ready by the middle of next month.

"Two or three weeks on top of the fitness work they've been doing at home feels about right. June 12 feels a touch early but there's no reason to go beyond June 19 for a restart.

"I don't see players' fitness being a concern - I don't see them needing four or five weeks. Even when they've had six weeks off for pre-season, within 10 days of going back in they'd be playing games again in pre-season.

He added: "They wouldn't be 100 per cent fit but these are uncharted times. I wouldn't expect the players to be absolutely perfect. I feel two to three weeks is about right to get them back playing again.

"We're constantly told throughout the season that players are overworked, play too many matches. What we can't have is a situation where the players have had an eight-week break to then say they need six weeks of training to get back to fitness. That doesn't feel right.”