Andros Townsend sends warning to Premier League stars ignoring lockdown rules

Crystal Palace winger Andros Townsend has pleaded with Premier League players to stick to lockdown regulations ahead of a potential restart to the season.

All top-flight sides have returned to small group training this week as part of Phase One of Project Restart, and there is growing optimism that football could resume as early as next month.

A number of players have been in trouble for breaching the rules since lockdown started, however, including the likes of Serge Aurier, Kyle Walker and Jack Grealish.

And Townsend warned Project Restart will be doomed to fail if Premier League stars do not take responsibility.

"Phase One was about the clubs showing they could provide a safe workplace," Townsend said. "They have more than done that.

"In Phase Two you need to start looking at your team-mates. If there’s a spike in cases it’s because possibly one of your team-mates doesn’t respect guidelines.

"I’m sure there will be a big team meeting where senior players or management will have to explain the guidelines and how important it is to stick to them."

Both Watford and Bournemouth have announced they currently have cases of coronavirus in their squad, while the likes of Troy Deeney and Danny Rose have spoken of their reluctance for the action to get back underway while the virus is still rife.

But Townsend appears keen to return to the pitch, adding: "We are definitely on course. When you first return to training, you’re nervous. Anyone who was in my eye line, I was telling them to get back.

"But as the days were going on you got more comfortable with your surroundings. The back end of next week will be the big test. There are still a few hurdles to go."

There will be another Premier League meeting next week to discuss preparations for Phase Two, which would see groups of up to 10 players and three staff allowed in training and no time limit to the total length of the sessions.

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