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Nathaniel Mendez-Laing targeting Premier League return – once football is safe for players | Football News

By May 14, 2020 No Comments
Nathaniel Mendez-Laing targeting Premier League return - once football is safe for players | Football News

By Lyall Thomas

Last Updated: 14/05/20 2:16pm

0:32

Cardiff City forward Nathaniel Mendez-Laing speaks exclusively to Daily Week Sports News from his home during coronavirus lockdown

Cardiff City forward Nathaniel Mendez-Laing speaks exclusively to Daily Week Sports News from his home during coronavirus lockdown

Nathaniel Mendez-Laing is targeting a return to the Premier League when football returns – but only if it can be done safely.

The 28-year-old forward has recovered from a serious hamstring problem and is ready to play a part in Cardiff’s bid for a play-off place, if the Championship season gets back up and running.

But he has concerns over the threat of contracting coronavirus, especially because he is part of a vulnerable BAME group, is asthmatic, and also has a partner at home that is pregnant.

He told Daily Week Sports News: “It weighs on my mind a little bit on my mind. But on top of that I have asthma as well – that’s on the list – and my partner is eight weeks away from giving birth.

“So it’s a tough one for myself, which I have spoken closely to the physio about, because if going back to work and being around people is not a completely safe environment, then coming back to my partner being pregnant is quite dangerous.

“As much as anybody involved in football would love to be back out there, and we’d all like football to be back, but at the same time I keep seeing we need it back, but everyone’s health is most important going.

“It’s plain and simple; if it’s safe to go back we continue, if not then so be it – it’s not safe enough. But health should come first. I’m sure every clubs have their own way of getting around these things and I’m sure they wouldn’t be back if it wouldn’t be safe.”

Mendez-Laing has not played since December 29 but he has stepped up his recovery with intense personal training at home during the pandemic lockdown, thanks in part to his partner who is also a physio.

Mendez-Laing, who a year ago scored twice in a 2-0 win over Manchester United at Old Trafford as Cardiff were relegated, was supposed to miss the rest of the season but is now set to add a boost to their promotion hunt – and he wants to be back in the Premier League as soon as possible.

He said: “When the lockdown happened, with being injured I was meant to miss rest of season, so saw it as a positive – that I could get back for the rest of season and help the boys for remaining games, if that is the case.

“I’ve been in close contact with the physios and had a personal training programme, and my partner is a physio too – so that’s been a touch. I’ve been keeping fit and keeping as busy as possible in the garden and outside running. Everyone looks in good shape, but when it comes to football we could be a bit rusty. When we get in we should be good enough to be sharp and push for that play-off spot.

“Those goals against United are something you don’t forget. You want to play at the top for as long as you can. I want to be back there with Cardiff. If that’s not the case and it’s somewhere else, then so be it. I have dreams and ambitions that I want to be at the top and I will do what it takes to get there.”

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