Interviews

Jake: We still feel we have a point to prove

1st May

Captain Jake Livermore says his team mates remain determined to “finish off the job” as football awaits a comeback chance from the Covid-19 pandemic.

But Albion’s inspirational skipper is adamant that all safety protocols must be in place first before anyone can think about playing again as the nation grapples with the health crisis.

Jake followed his gaffer Slaven Bilic in hosting a conference call with local media this week to answer questions on how he and his team-mates are coping with the lockdown – and much more besides.

The Club are reviewing the prospect of the players returning to the training ground to begin small-group sessions in the near future and when the squad does get back together Jake is confident morale will be high – as will the determination to complete the schedule.

Everyone seems to be fine,” he says. “We have all taken that responsibility on to keep an eye on each other.

“But a few of the young boys I have kept in contact with a bit more to make sure they are okay, and a few of the foreign boys as well.

“Filip (Krovinović) I keep in close contact with because he is here by himself the majority of the time which can be difficult.

“Everyone is missing the togetherness, the interaction with the fans. We just want to get back as soon as possible but obviously when it is safe to do so.

“We would like to do it properly. We still feel like we have got a point to prove.

"We have had a great season and some great performances, everything has been fantastic.

"And we want to finish it right - I feel I can say that on behalf of everyone.”

The lockdown has brought its benefits, however, with the midfielder admitting he has loved the extra time with his family and the opportunity to savour a less hectic lifestyle.

And he has also relished the opportunity to get involved in the Club’s community programmes with phonecalls to fans experiencing isolation.

“I think we enjoy those more than the fans,” he said. I’ve had a couple of chats and it’s just so nice to hear genuine people - especially at a time like this when we all don’t know what is going on.

“We are all in the same position with uncertainty. It was just so nice to hear a genuine laugh and see a smile. It was really moving actually.”

But he stresses football’s return should not be given the go-ahead until everyone’s safety is assured.

He added:I can’t speak for others but on a personal note my best friend’s partner lost their dad and it all became real then.

“It was real before and we were all being very respectful, but when you see the effects of it on somebody so close to you it does make a difference.

“I think from that, and I mean that respectfully, once it’s someone who is almost family - you feel it.

“We must get it right, we must get the timings right and we must get the right guidance from the government and from those who are experts in this.”

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