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In addition to their individual routines, the Boys in Brown started training in small groups again this week, much to the delight of James Lawrence. We rang the defender on Tuesday afternoon and asked him a selection of questions that had been submitted by the Hamburg media. James was happy to take time out to talk about...

…returning to the training ground, albeit with just a few teammates and the required distancing:

It feels good to be back out with the lads and have real contact with other people again. Although we're having to keep our distance, it's great to be kicking a ball again.

…his training group, consisting of Robin Himmelmann, Christopher Avevor, Christian Conteh, Leo Østigård and Viktor Gyökeres:

I can't complain. It's a great group, I get on well with all of them. We're having a lot of fun together even though we're taking it very seriously.

…the difficulty of changing your training habits ­­­from before the corona pandemic and following the new rules and stipulations:

The new rules are necessary and I'm not finding it difficult to observe them. It wouldn't be easy having all the players in one dressing room, but we've been divided up into several groups of just a few players each and are getting changed in different rooms. We're paying close attention and managing OK. It's been a few weeks now, so everyone's used to it.

…the first step back to normality when the campaign resumes, albeit behind closed doors in the first instance:

A few weeks ago, none of us wanted to play without fans but now we just want to get playing again, no matter what the circumstances. That means the fans would have to stay at home, but at least they could watch the games on TV. It'd be a strange experience for us players, but we want to start playing again and get the season finished.

James Lawrence (left) training in his group with goalkeeper coach Mathias Hain (2nd from left), Viktor Gyökeres (2nd from right) and Robin Himmelmann (right).

James Lawrence (left) training in his group with goalkeeper coach Mathias Hain (2nd from left), Viktor Gyökeres (2nd from right) and Robin Himmelmann (right).

…what he misses most at the moment:

I definitely miss the social contact, the social interaction, and the players. I also miss being able to go out and feel free. I'm a spontaneous type of guy who likes to do whatever enters his mind, even if it's just a quick round of crazy golf, so it's quite tough at the moment. I also miss training with all the lads and the games and just generally doing my job in the usual way. I'm sure there's a lot of people who feel the same way at the moment.

…the difficulty of motivating yourself every day without knowing when things will get going again:

We've talked about that a lot. It's actually quite difficult to motivate yourself without any short-term goals. You have to see it long term and keep reminding yourself why you're doing it and what we're trying to achieve. Boredom can be a motivator, too. You can be at home and do nothing or you can tell yourself you're going to do a workout and keep fit. If you've got nothing to do, then find something to do. We were obviously very happy to get back on the training ground. Everyone's doing a little bit more to get back to where they were. We want that feeling back as soon as possible. Everyone's motivated at the moment even though we aren't working up to a game because we want to get back out kicking a ball again.


Photos: Witters