Psychologist helping Fulham footballers through 'scary' lockdown

Championship manager Scott Parker says club working to keep players 'comfortable'

BRISTOL, ENGLAND - MARCH 07: Scott Parker, Manager of Fulham acknowledges the fans following their draw in the Sky Bet Championship match between Bristol City and Fulham FC at Ashton Gate on March 07, 2020 in Bristol, England. (Photo by Harry Trump/Getty Images)
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Fulham manager Scott Parker says their young foreign players are finding it most difficult to deal with the coronavirus lockdown and that the club have a psychologist on hand to help the squad through a "fragile situation".

Football in England has been suspended since March 13 due to the Covid-19 pandemic and players have been instructed to stay at home as part of efforts to curb the spread of the new coronavirus.

"It's very, very tough. We've obviously got a psychologist who works with us, he's in contact with them," Parker told The Times.

"As much as the whole situation is scary for a lot of the players, the ones who seem to struggle the most are the young ones, foreign lads.

"We have to work out where they are mentally, and keep them in a place where they're comfortable. We talk, we Zoom, there's regular communication with the players but there's no denying that it's a tough period.

"In terms of managing their minds, and them, it is a fragile situation which me and the staff need to be fully aware of and respect."

Parker said the Championship club had been well prepared for the lockdown, ordering bikes and treadmills for players as soon as they saw the situation deteriorating in Italy and Spain.

"We knew that if players weren't allowed out, or some players weren't comfortable going out, they would have some facility for exercising in their rooms," Parker added.

"Have they got a personal gym? What do they need? Weights? The majority of them are going out exercising. Some players don't want to go outside to exercise, they are scared of that."