Miguel Almirón says he’s counting down the days before Steve Bruce’s side returns to Premier League action.
He is eager to play professional matches again, even if it means that matches will have to take place behind closed doors due to the threat of COVID-19.
“That’s just what has to be done for now so that we can get back to some sort of normality as quickly as possible. If and when the league starts up again, we’ll be trying hard to perform at our absolute best so we can put a smile back on the fans’ faces,” said Almirón, speaking to nufc.co.uk this week.
Since the season was suspended in March following the coronavirus outbreak, the Paraguay international and his team mates have not played, but arrived back last week for the first phase of training, where the players were operating in small groups without touch.
Then on Thursday the squad was able to practice together for the first time, with approved tackling, until Premier League owners agreed a new tentative restart date for the Wednesday, June 17th season, ensuring all safety conditions are in place.
Almirón explained: “I feel really well. Being in quarantine has been a little bit tough but thankfully I’m feeling fit. I’m really happy to be getting back into training and to be able to see my team mates once again”.
Thus, the top goal scorer of the Magpies, with his smiling face, has once again become a welcome sight in the last week or so at Newcastle United’s training ground.
The pace and energy of Almirón is a big part of his game, and the 26-year-old worked on an individually tailored program set by the club during the first lockdown stage, using gym equipment and a treadmill at home.
“Just like all the other lads, I ‘d been training at home,” he said. “The club gave us all our own individual training workouts that we had to do every day, but it’s just not the same, doing it on the running machine, because it’s running out alongside your teammates on the pitch with a ball at your feet. That’s what you really missed.”
But he knows only too well that nothing can replicate full contact training sessions for a top flight footballer.