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Ashworth: The integrity of the competition matters

Albion’s technical director on the importance of maintaining some of the fundamental aspects of the sport.

By Alex Stedman • 08 May 2020

By Paul Hazlewood
Albion technical director Dan Ashworth.

Dan Ashworth is keen to stress the importance of preserving as many aspects of the Premier League as possible as clubs aim to finish the 2019/20 campaign during the Covid-19 crisis.

The league will meet on Monday to discuss the next steps to be taken with a view to completing Albion’s remaining nine matches and Ashworth says having home advantage will be a key topic. 

He said, “The integrity of the competition is important – the same amount of home and away games each season is something you always get. The environment of your home stadium is a big factor too - the changing rooms, the width and feel of the playing surface, the lack of travel for home games – players can sleep in their own beds the night before a home match for instance.

“Clubs have invested a lot of money in their stadiums to suit their teams and get the best out of their players. That’s something we’re keen to make sure we push for the remainder of this season.”

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Barber & Ashworth press conference

Ashworth also emphasised the importance of putting the health of players and staff at the club above all else when it’s deemed safe for the competition to resume. 

“We support coming back providing it’s safe for players and staff, that’s number one for us and all of the clubs,” he added. 

“Players are in different situations. One of our players has one of his family members with a medical condition with him and the players have to be happy and comfortable to come back. That’s one of the things we’ll be talking to them about once we have a better idea of a timeline with a return to training. 

“There’s a Premier League doctors’ group which we are a part of. We share views and everyone’s of a similar opinion – protecting the safety of the players and the staff. 

“We all have concerns and we are in very difficult times. The whole world is having to come to terms with the horrendous effects of this virus. Anything we can do to prevent the further spread of Covid-19 we would absolutely do.”

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