Tyler Roberts reflects on testing times and motivation in lockdown eyeing Leeds United history

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TYLER ROBERTS says he remains highly motivated during lockdown with Leeds United eager to complete the current campaign and make history at Elland Road.

Roberts, though, admits the current pause has led to testing times with the forward also looking at the bigger picture and applauding the NHS for their work in the global fight against coronavirus.

United's season is currently on hold amidst the social distancing restrictions in place to combat COVID-19 with the Premier League and EFL seasons currently indefinitely suspended.

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Leeds' players are continuing to train at home with the Whites top of the Championship and with a seven-point cushion in the automatic promotion spots with nine games left to play.

GRATEFUL: Leeds United's Wales international Tyler Roberts. Photo by Lewis Storey/Getty Images.GRATEFUL: Leeds United's Wales international Tyler Roberts. Photo by Lewis Storey/Getty Images.
GRATEFUL: Leeds United's Wales international Tyler Roberts. Photo by Lewis Storey/Getty Images. | Getty

In a letter sent out to every club in the league this week, EFL chairman Rick Parry outlined the EFL's plan to complete the season's remaining fixtures within 56 days “in the summer months”, working on the assumption that the games would be played behind closed doors.

Parry also advised clubs to stop training until at least May 16 with the EFL looking at resuming fixtures in June and consequently ending the season in August.

In the meantime, Wales international Roberts has been working hard training at home with the 21-year-old spurred on by the possibility of being nine games away from the Premier League and grateful for the NHS in the current pandemic.

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"This period that we are in has tested me in ways I never thought I would encounter," Roberts told Mail Online.

"The uncertainty of when the league will start again and the amount of training time we will get before games.

"The hardest thing for me as a footballer is working towards an unclear goal or the time we are allowed back training.

"Being at home with not much freedom and a lot of restrictions makes it challenging to try and continue your usual routine of waking up, training, eating right, staying healthy and remaining motivated to do fitness work.

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"At Leeds, we are currently top of the league and eager to finish the season because we know we can make history and it's in our hands so that is a big motivation for me every day.

"Making sure that when we get the all clear to come back that I am in the best possible condition that I can be to help the team cross that all-important finishing line.

"I believe I have a lot of self drive so when I am doing my sessions my brain doesn't allow me to skip things or take shortcuts because for one, it makes me feel guilty and two, I believe if you are going to do something then you may as well give it 100 per cent and improve from it."

Turning his attention to the bigger issue of the fight against COVID-19 and the work of the NHS, Roberts said: "Apart from the football, normal life has been hit hard but also made me realise some of the more key traits that humans need in being thoughtful of others and keeping healthy at all times.

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"The NHS are doing a remarkable job. All of the people risking their health and lives to help others is amazing to hear and see.

"I hope this time doesn't last too long and we all stick together and think about others at all times so we can keep as many people as safe as possible.

"Much has been made about Leeds' squad taking a wage deferral but in times like this, thinking about the sacrifices NHS staff and other workers are making, we as players felt it was the right thing to do.

"There are greater sacrifices being made out there which deserve everyone's utmost support."

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