National Chronicle

Staying focussed & fit a mental struggle during shutdown: Lovren (Lead)

London,  Liverpool and Croatia centre-back Dejan Lovren has admitted that staying focussed and keeping fit during the shutdown forced by the coronavirus pandemic has been a mental struggle.

“It hasn’t been easy as we have been locked up in our homes for 46 days now,” Lovren told Croatian daily sports newspaper Sportske Novosti. “The psychological aspect is the most difficult to overcome. I work out on my own as much as I can, I kick the ball around a bit with my son on our lawn, but training with the team is totally different.

“I try to stay motivated any way I can. I get up in the morning and tell myself ‘I am going to get knackered in training today’ and at least I’ve managed to lose some weight.”

Lovren also said that the constant indoor training has taken a toll on his body. “I’ve also lost some mass on my legs because there is no substitute for a 90-minute team training session. You can’t do an indoor exercise on your legs for 90 minutes,” he said.

The 30-year-old hopes that the season would resume in a manner that would not disrupt the calendar more than it already has. Thus far, numerous leagues around the world have announced premature ends with differing results and the 2020 Euro has been postponed to 2021.

“I hope (UEFA President) Aleksander Ceferin and all the other people from UEFA and FIFA will come up with a solution so that we don’t get into a situation of having to play 15 games in 30 days,” he said.

“We need time off. This hasn’t really been time off because the players will need to recover mentally from the pandemic and the resultant quarantine.”

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