Soccer in England is currently suspended until April 30 amid a coronavirus pandemic
Last Updated: 03/26/20 4:32 pm
Kevin Phillips fears that footballers have mental problems without the regular training routine with their teammates.
The clubs have given their squads individual programs to follow as the country is told to stay home during the coronavirus pandemic.
Without a timeline for how long it can be, the former Sunderland Phillips striker is concerned that some may struggle to stray from their usual routine.
"I found out when I first retired, even though I went directly to the coach side, mentally it is very very difficult. These players are really experiencing now what it is when you retire," Phillips said. Sky Sports News.
"So the great message from me is to try to stay mentally active.
"Listening to some of the young guys who have no family, they probably live alone in an apartment, the first week is probably fine, but there are a lot of things you can visit on social media, Xbox, whatever. So, it may become a problem in the future. "
Phillips recently joined the Stoke City coaching staff, but left after Gary Rowett's departure in January 2019. His advice to players is to use their time productively.
"Who knows how long this will last, so try to learn something, learn and try a language, just to keep your mind really active, which I think is very important," he said.
"We are blessed now, 20 years or more, this would have been very difficult, but today with technology, with tablets, iPhones, social media, it is quite easy to stay in touch with each other."
"Obviously, physically we are not allowed to (see each other) but just being able to have a group video chat, I think it is very important just for you mentally."
Phillips is not alone in sharing fears for athletes, with former England captain Tony Adams saying Sky Sports News last week you expect an increase in calls to your charity Sporting Chance.
Phillips added, "Anything you can do to keep your brain working and stay motivated. These guys are in good physical shape, they will continue to function, and they will stay as physically as possible."
"The most difficult thing is the mental side and we all know that within football, mental health problems are a big problem and this situation we are in right now, if the players can keep busy, if that means making videos on social networks Players with ideas to try to keep everyone involved, I think it is very important.
Meanwhile, Phillips says that his former club Sunderland could well benefit from the forced postponement period as they try to gain promotion to League One, having lost in last season's playoff final.
"I think this break as much as they didn't want it came at the right time because his form in the last three or four games before the break was not excellent," he said.
"So maybe they can come back and reflect, come back and have a real boost every time the season comes together for the last nine games and tries to get into those play-offs."
"It will be like reporting for the preseason, it is just mentally, it will be a great relief for these players."
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