Townsend grateful for Palace support

London (AFP) –


Andros Townsend has thanked Crystal Palace for their backing during the coronavirus crisis but understands why some players may be reluctant to return to training during the pandemic.

Palace returned to contact training this week as English top-flight clubs continued their build-up to a restart of the season on June 17 after the virus brought the campaign to a halt in March.

"I support any player who doesn't want to return to training, they have their reasons and may have health issues," Townsend told the BBC's Football Focus.

"But I can only speak about Palace and they have been incredible.

"We've had regular Zoom conference calls, they have relaid every bit of information. Everyone was confident we were returning to a safe environment."

Townsend added: "When we got the green light to return to contact training we were all delighted and now the hard work starts.

"When you are at home for seven, eight weeks and only mixing with people from your own household it's difficult. You forget people are normal, you've been treating people like they've had the virus.

"When you go back to training you don't want to get too near your team-mates but as the days went on and the tests came back all clear slowly we got back to the confidence our team-mates are healthy and safe."