London (AFP) – French defender Aymeric Laporte has urged his Manchester City teammates to keep up their home training routines during their self-isolation — but admits he cannot stop thinking about the club’s possible exclusion from the Champions League.
The 25-year-old is presently recovering from a hamstring problem, the latest in a litany of injuries that has limited him to eight appearances this season.
City’s players have had to stay at home and been given training plans since the reigning Premier League champions closed the training ground following British government advice on Monday to avoid all non-essential travel and contact.
“That’s (personal training schedule) the best thing for everyone, that we do it every day,” Laporte said, quoted in The Times on Friday.
“They trust in you and you have to be professional. You have to follow what they say and we have to be responsible in this case.
“When we return to normality, when we start training again outside, we have to be ready.”
Premier League chiefs on Thursday fixed a planned resumption of domestic football for April 30. Britain has only just begun to take the same restrictive measures as other European countries to fight the pandemic.
Laporte said City players had been advised to adhere to the guidance on avoiding social contact.
“We have the same protocol as has been given out in all countries: stay at home as much as possible, don’t go out in the street, don’t shake hands with anyone,” said Laporte.
“If you go to the supermarket and you see someone you know, say hello to them, but don’t shake their hands or get close to them.”
Laporte said he was worried about City’s ban from European football for two years for breaching financial fairplay rules, although the club has appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).
“We are waiting for a final decision,” said Laporte “We are going to see what happens next season.
“Obviously it would hurt us a lot if we aren’t in the Champions League next season.
“I am very happy here at Manchester City. I am enjoying my football here. We are doing great things here. In the last two years we have won eight trophies.”
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