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Hodgson has no fears over Premier League return despite virus


London (AFP) – Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson is ready to take part in the Premier League’s proposed restart during the coronavirus crisis despite being in the vulnerable age group.

Hodgson is the oldest manager in Premier League history at 72, potentially putting the former England coach in danger if he contracts the virus.

But Hodgson said he had no fears about getting back to work if the Premier League stick to their plan to let clubs start training next week.

Asked if he would be able to return, Hodgson told beIN SPORTS: “Yes. No concerns. Age is age. It’s how you feel really. Your age doesn’t necessarily relate to your fitness or how you’re feeling, or your capacity to do a job.”

Hodgson, whose long managerial career has included stints at Liverpool and Inter Milan, said he had used the enforced break since the Premier League was suspended in March to work on his fitness.

“So I have no qualms whatsoever,” he said. “When I’m called back to work I shall be very happy to go back to work.”

Several Premier League players have expressed concern about putting themselves and their families at risk.

Newcastle defender Danny Rose and Manchester City stars Sergio Aguero and Raheem Sterling are among the players to go public with worries about being forced back into action too soon.

Hodgson said he and Palace chairman Steve Parish would not have a problem if any of his players did not want to return to work before they felt completely safe.

“This is going to be a matter for the individual and a matter for the club at the end of the day,” Hodgson said. 

“I would be very surprised, knowing my club and Steve Parish as I do, that he would not be sympathetic to a player that came and said: ‘Look, I have serious reservations about playing’.”

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