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Aston Villa full back Matt Targett happy to take a small step

By Matt Maher | Aston Villa | Published:

Matt Targett welcomed a “small step” back toward normality after Villa resumed small group training on Tuesday.

Aston Villa's Matt Targett (left)

The club’s coaching staff and players returned to Bodymoor Heath for the first time in more than two months after Premier League clubs approved the first phase of Project Restart.

Villa’s squad was split in half, with each player given one of two time slots to help adhere with social distancing measures.

Players are currently permitted to train in groups no larger than five, while they are also required to arrive at the training ground already changed into their kit, having prepared their own personal drinks.

Villa defender Targett told the Express & Star: “It was nice to go back in, that is for sure. It was small groups, I was with Tyrone Mings, Douglas Luiz and Pepe Reina.

“Obviously you can’t do too much but it was nice to have the ball at your feet again. You can do some positional things that you are likely to do in the game, without any contact.

“It was just nice to go in and see your team-mates. It has been longer than the break you would normally have between seasons.

“You do miss the boys and it was nice to see them. It is a small little step and hopefully we can get back to normality sooner rather than later.”

Targett was in the first wave of players who began their sessions at 2pm, after receiving the all-clear from tests for coronavirus taken on Sunday.

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Though Villa’s players have been following individual programmes while away from Bodymoor, the 24-year-old believes it will be several weeks before they are fully up and running.

He continued: “John Terry took our session. The gaffer was looking from afar, while setting up for the next group later than us. Richard O’Kelly took a group too.

“It is a small step but a nice step to take. Hopefully over the next few weeks we can gradually build-up and get back to playing as soon as possible.”

Bodymoor Heath had been shut since March 16 due to the coronavirus pandemic and Targett admitted to finding the strain of the lockdown tough.

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“It has been strange for me," he said. "I am healthy, thankfully, and so is my girlfriend who lives with me.

“But it has been boring. You can’t do anything. I have not gone home to see my family at all.

“It was my mom’s birthday the other day and I could not go out to see her and take her out for a meal or anything. That was tough.”

Matt Maher

By Matt Maher
@mjmarr_star

Chief sports writer for the Express & Star.

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