'We've been told we can start 1 June' - Exclusive: Hutton lifts lid on Villa squad talks
Alan Hutton claims that the Aston Villa squad are finding it “very difficult” as they are kept in the dark over a possible resumption for the Premier League.
The former Villa and Scotland star, speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, lifted the lid on conversations with his old teammates over what they are hearing about returning to action.
Villa chief Christian Purslow has told The Times that league officials are “nowhere near” to finding the solution and that he is not discussing proposed plans with his squad.
Hutton insists that the players at Villa Park are facing a tough task to stay motivated and on task while being kept in the dark, suggesting they have no idea when they might be back in action.
Asked what he’d heard from talking to his old teammates, Hutton told Football Insider: “They’re a little bit in the dark. You’ve got your chief executives and people going to meetings discussing X, Y and Z.
“They’re not coming back – and this isn’t their fault because all the meetings are kind of kept in house – but they’re not coming back, phoning all the players and saying: ‘This is where we’re at, this is what’s happening,’ because they don’t really want it out there for everyone to discuss.
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“They want to try keep it within and then move forward the best way forward. For a player it’s very difficult because you don’t know when you’re going back in, you don’t know when you’re first game’s going to be, how do you keep yourself fit and at a level where to get back playing?
“We’ve been told we can start 1st June so how can you be match fit? We’ve been off two months, there’s no way you can go back and play at that level in two weeks of training, it’s impossible.
“In a player’s mind it’s really hard, we’re used to being regimented, being told where to be, when to be – there’s none of that. Club’s are hoping they’re staying fit but it’s a really difficult situation, you’ve got to be mentally strong.”
Speaking to the Times last week, Purslow said: “Even in the executive group in the Premier League shareholders group we haven’t even been shown yet what they call ‘return to play’ protocols. So I haven’t discussed it with my players at all.
“If I was a betting man I would say that the single biggest challenge we’ve got is to get those protocols signed off by everybody in football.”
In other Aston Villa news, Paul Robinson has revealed the “worst thing” about a reveal from the Villans.