Lovren says COVID-19 lockdown has been a mental battle

Liverpool defender Dejan Lovren has claimed that maintaining focus on the Premier League title race during the COVID-19 lockdown has been a mental battle irrespective of individual efforts to stay physically fit.

“It hasn’t been easy as we have been locked up in our homes for 46 days now,” the Croatia international said in a chat with Saturday’s online edition of Sportske Novisti, Croatia’s leading sports daily (sportske.jutarnji.hr).

“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.”

Premier League action has been on suspension since March 9 and remains in limbo as they can’t take steps but have to wait for the government’s decision next week on the state of lockdown process.

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The 20 Premier League clubs met on Friday to work out plans for resumption of training later in May which will be followed by a return of the competition in June. The clubs were informed that resumption of games would see them play at neutral venues with approval from a health and safety point of view.

The Reds are on the verge of emerging victoriously in this season’s Premier League competition since 1990. They lead the chasing pack with 82 points, having played 29 games, and sit 25 points above second-placed Manchester City who have a game in hand.

According to Lovren, it has been difficult to derive excitement from the daily routine due to prevailing circumstances.

“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,” he said.

“But 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.”