"We're going to take it day by day"
Abelardo feels that we must "take great care of the players at the muscular level" and hopes "there won't be injuries", although he fears that “the risk will be high”
Having spent the time in lockdown "watching a lot of games, a lot of videos", he says that right now his only concern is "the day-to-day". He refuses to venture any further than that, because, as he points out, there's no way of guessing what things will look like in the short or medium term.
Abelardo is looking forward to "seeing how the players will respond in these first few training sessions. They're individual sessions. So we'll have to wait for the group work". For now, he takes comfort in the fact that the players have "done their homework", despite the difficulties they've had in training at home. Having said this, he does acknowledge that even on vacation, planned training work can be done outside. "But this situation now is totally different. We'll have to see how we respond. We have to take great care of the players on a muscular level. We hope that, if the competition starts, we won't have injuries".
As he notes, Espanyol has been the team worst affected by the coronavirus, and that generates a level of "uncertainty about how the players will respond day by day, both physically and mentally".
He knows that he has a lot of work ahead of him, particularly in terms of awareness, if they are to get there "better than the others in every respect. We have to work on the day-to-day in training and see which players we have available for that potential return, for the first match".
He insists that there's no point in guessing what may or may not happen. "The main thing is health", he argues. "We have to wait and see how the pandemic evolves. Let's hope it gets better, but you have to take this situation day by day. I'm of the view that there may be a high risk of injury, that we're coming off the back of two months without training on the pitch and I think it's going to take six or seven weeks before we're in a condition to compete. He goes on to add a detail that cannot be overlooked: normally in the preseason, you play friendly games and the minutes of play are shared between players. "Now we'll be required to play 90 minutes from day one and games every three days. The risk of injury will be high".
Finally, he reinforces the idea that "if we do compete, we'll give 200 per cent with what we have, with what we can, but we can't ask anything of the fans because they've shown that they've been with us since day one. We just have to thank them for the support they give us".