Cardiff City Put Tour Plans On Hold Due To Coronavirus

Cardiff City have put their summer pre-season tour plans for a trip to Portugal on hold because of the coronavirus outbreak.

Bluebirds boss Neil Harris wanted to take his players away before the start of next season, but those ambitions have been undermined due to the spread of the virus.

“We’ve identified going to Portugal to a resort I know well,” said Harris.

“It has a training complex and hospitality-wise it’s also good for fans to travel to.

“I like to involve fans in pre-season and get everyone together, but we’ve had to put it onto the backburner as we’ve got to think of health and safety.”

Sky Bet Championship side Cardiff went to North America for part of their pre-season last summer.

But Harris admits that the spread of the virus could force them to stay within the confines of Great Britain and Ireland this time.

“We’re drawing up a few different plans, involving possibly Scotland and Ireland, but we will be governed by what happens in the coming weeks,” he said.

“It’s a hot topic for us on the training ground because, logistically, it’s not easy for us at Cardiff and being abroad can help us to play games.

“You can leave it as late as you want. But if you want good opposition, involve the fan base and have a clear structure then you want to do it as soon as possible.

“Ideally for me it would have been organised last week.

“Pre-season is monotonous for players as they’re here early in the morning and sometimes it involves three or four sessions a day.

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“If you do that day after day for three weeks, then players and staff can become bored with each other.

“You need to do something different and I want to go overseas, but we have to be prepared that there is a dangerous virus out there this year.”

Cardiff visit Barnsley tomorrow and where they will attempt to gather some momentum with 10 matches left of their Championship season and a five points gap between themselves and the play-off places.

Harris’s side have failed to win in their last four matches and he insisted: “You can’t predict what’s going to be enough for promotion, play-offs or relegation.

“We’ve got such a crazy six-week period and our mentality will certainly be to get more points than the teams above us, that goes without saying. One game at a time is the only way we can edge closer towards those play-off places.”

Harris has also confirmed Dai Sport’s revelation earlier this week that striker Isaac Vassell had suffered a damaging setback in his attempt to return from injury, while playing for the club’s U23 side.

“In a positive under-23s performance and some real good minutes for Neil [Etheridge], Sol [Bamba] and Brad [Smith], there was excitement in Issac’s eyes to come back. It was a real shame to see him come off as he did.

“It was a different quad (muscle) to what he had before so there was no recurrence of the old injury, just really bad luck. He’s had a scan and he won’t play again this season.

“Our hope for him is that he’s like a new signing in the summer and we know that he will work extremely hard over the close season to get him back on the starting line in June. I hope he gets the fortune his character deserves.”


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