West Ham to play friendlies before Premier League restart, says Moyes

FILE PHOTO: Premier League - West Ham United v Southampton
FILE PHOTO: Premier League - West Ham United v Southampton

(Reuters) - West Ham United will play friendly matches as they look to get some match practice and regain fitness ahead of the Premier League's restart this month, manager David Moyes said on Wednesday.

The league, which has been suspended since mid-March due to the COVID-19 pandemic, is set to resume on June 17 behind closed doors.

Clubs returned to contact training this week and they were also given the green light to play friendly matches in the coming days, with several safety protocols in place.

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"We will be playing some friendlies. We'll do everything we can to prepare for the return of the Premier League," Moyes told the club website https://www.whufc.com/news/articles/2020/june/03-june/david-moyes-training-new-normal-playing-warm-matches-and-focusing. "If you consider this a... pre-season period, most teams would have had a few friendlies under their belts.

"One thing all the clubs are not going to get is a lot of game practice, so I think getting the opportunity to do that means we can play a couple of games behind closed doors."

Matches will be refereed by club coaching staff while venues must not be more than 90 minutes away.

"We're all following the guidelines while we're in a position where we don't want anything to go wrong in the lead up to the restart of the Premier League," Moyes added.

(Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Toby Davis)

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