Darren Bent has warned the likes of Newcastle United and Tottenham that training at their stadiums will not prepare the players for playing games behind closed doors this season.
The former Spurs and Sunderland striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, insists it will be “completely different” when the season kicks off without fans later this month.
Tottenham revealed on Friday that they had held training, including an 11-a-side game, at the club’s state-of-the-art stadium, while Newcastle’s squad faced off against each other at St James’ Park on Saturday.
— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) June 5, 2020
The Premier League is set to resume on 17 June but fans will be absent from the stands as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic.
Bent “commends” the likes of Spurs and Newcastle for trying to adapt to the situation but insists things will be “completely different” when they come up against actual opposition.
Bent told Football Insider: “Listen, it’s going to be really strange. It’s going to be alien to them, it’s going to be difficult but when you play behind closed doors, among yourselves, people will still go through the motions.
“I’ve had it before when you play against the youth teams or the reserves, you still go through the motions because you know there’s not really a lot riding on it.
“I get it, I understand it, replicating playing at the stadium behind closed doors but it’s still going to completely different. When it comes to game time and you come up against actual opposition, it’s completely different.
“Listen, I commend them, I commend a lot of the people who are training in their stadiums trying to get used to playing with no fans in but honestly, when you get out there and play against actual opposition it’s completely different.”
⚽️ The players took part in a behind-closed-doors training match at St. James' Park earlier today as they build up to the resumption of the 2019/20 @premierleague season.
— Newcastle United FC (@NUFC) June 6, 2020
With nine games left to play, Spurs are set to resume their season with a home tie against Manchester United.
Newcastle meanwhile will welcome Sheffield United to St James’ Park for their first game back, while they also have a FA Cup clash against Manchester City to look forward to on Tyneside.
In other Tottenham news, the club are facing a double blow after a major statement, claims a Football Insider pundit.