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No matter how long it takes, Rangers will be raring to go when action resumes: Davis


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Northern Ireland captain Steven Davis

Northern Ireland captain Steven Davis

Northern Ireland captain Steven Davis

Northern Ireland captain Steven Davis insists Rangers will be ready to go once the call comes to resume action but he does not believe playing games behind closed doors is the way forward.

Leagues across Europe have been halted due to the coronavirus pandemic, with Uefa moving Euro 2020 back a year to try and allow time to complete domestic seasons.

The Cullybackey man and the rest of the Ibrox squad have been placed on lockdown by the Government's strict measures aimed at curbing the spread of the virus. As things stand, football in Scotland is on hold until April 30 at the earliest.

Davis shares everyone's desire to see the Scottish Premiership campaign completed but only once it is safe to allow fans back into stadiums.

He said: "Rangers wouldn't exist without its fans, therefore I personally do not believe games should be played behind closed doors. Hopefully this season can be played to a finish at the earliest but safest opportunity."

Davis is confident the personal training regimes drawn up by Steven Gerrard's backroom staff will ensure the Light Blues are in top condition once the traps finally open.

The 35-year-old added: "As players we're in constant contact with the club as things progress.

"We've been given specific fitness and dietary programmes to enable us to be in the best physical condition possible for the challenges of the current season being played to an end."

The row over how the Scottish campaign should be settled continues to rumble.

Celtic boss Neil Lennon has already demanded his side should be crowned champions if term's remaining fixtures are scrapped.

But Ibrox managing director Stewart Robertson insists all 38 rounds must be fulfilled, while Hearts have warned they are ready to go to court if they end up being relegated without kicking another ball.

In all likelihood, it will be weeks if not months before the nation is in a position to stage major events.

Davis is urging the Gers faithful to baton down the hatches while the fight against the killer disease is stepped up.

“There is a lot of uncertainty and worry for everyone around the world right now and I know what an institution like Rangers means to our loyal fans but football must be secondary right now and it’s vital we follow the advice of the Government to get this virus under control,” he said.

“Football and sport in general play a massive role for the health and well-being for millions around the world, both physically and mentally, and this virus is impacting everyone in all aspects of life.

“Naturally we are all concerned for our family, friends and loved ones but hopefully in time we’ll be able to get back to normality and — for us as players and fans — get back to the joy of being back out on the pitch and supporting our team. Stay safe, follow government guidelines and look after yourself.

“I’d also like to say thank you to the NHS staff and all key workers across the UK for the incredible work they are doing.”

Meanwhile, on-loan Gers midfielder Ross McCrorie has thanked well-wishers after he became the first high-profile Scottish player to test positive for coronavirus.

The 22-year-old — currently on a season-long stint with Portsmouth — tweeted: “Thank you for all the messages of support it’s appreciated! Self isolating at the moment and feeling fine with no symptoms whatsoever. I would just like to urge everyone to take care and stay safe!”

McCrorie, who has captained Scotland Under-21s, is the fifth player from the League One club to test positive for the illness.

Belfast Telegraph