NEWPORT County AFC manager Michael Flynn says players will have to undergo a “mini pre-season” before returning to play competitive matches.

All English Football League fixtures are currently postponed until April 30 at the earliest due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The EFL is committed to concluding the 2019-2020 season but it could be several more months before the action can resume.

“We’re all in limbo,” said Flynn. “We don’t know when it’s going to peak or how long it’s going to last for when it does peak.

“I think it was a sensible decision to postpone until that date because it gives you just over a month look at things and evaluate where we’re at.

“But the longer it goes on, the harder it will be. Unless you can try to start back in June.

“My personal thoughts are you could start back at the end of June, use July as pre-season and start games again in August. And then you probably start the new season in mid-October.

“It’s not ideal but at least everyone gets a fair crack of the whip and relegation and promotion issues are settled.”

South Wales Argus:

For now, County have to prepare for a potential return to action in May and players are having to keep as fit as they can in isolation.

“The training ground is out of bounds now until early April,” Flynn told BBC Radio Wales Sport.

“We [usually] have small groups of players travelling in together and a couple of players live together as well so it just won’t work.

“We’ve got to follow the government guidelines and what the club recommends as well because the safety and the health of the individuals is much more important than whether we’re able to train or not.

“We’re lucky that we’ve got a very good person – Ryland Morgans – who helps out when he can,” added the Exiles boss.

“He helps us plan things regarding the fitness side of the players so we’re in a very fortunate position there where we can call on someone of that expertise to help plan it out over the next few weeks.

“Not every club will have somebody like Ryland.

“They’ve all got sports scientists and things like that, but not somebody of his level.”

South Wales Argus:

Morgans (above right) played for County in the mid-1990s but he’s enjoyed much greater success since hanging up his boots and turning to sport science.

He has worked at Swansea City, Cardiff City, Crystal Palace, Liverpool and Everton as a performance coach and with Wales under both Gary Speed and Chris Coleman – playing a part in the national side’s run to the semi-finals of Euro 2016.

This season he’s worked as assistant manager for the Ivory Coast national team and as a technical coach at Luton Town.

And since last summer he’s also worked on a freelance basis with County, after Flynn persuaded the board that his expertise would help give the club a more professional approach.

Morgans will therefore be key when the players do eventually return to training.

“It’s almost like the season’s finished and we’ve got to plan for a mini pre-season,” explained Flynn.

“They’ve all had their personal plans and been told what is expected of them.

“They had their weight and body fat measured before they left.

“They’re professionals and they’ve got to keep themselves fit.

“I’m in the house with the kids,” he added. “We’re trying to be sensible and stay out of the way. We don’t want to catch the virus or pass it on. I wish everyone good health. Hopefully, we all come through this and the football can continue.”

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