No holding back for Kieran Trippier despite ‘difficult’ schedule

Kieran Trippier admits the current fixture schedule is a challenge for players – but insists he is keen to be involved in every single match.

The Atletico Madrid full-back is expected to start for England in their Nations League dead rubber at home to Iceland on Wednesday evening.

Trippier started Sunday’s defeat in Belgium – a result which means the Three Lions can no longer progress to the Nations League finals next year.

Kieran Trippier, left
Kieran Trippier, left, takes on Belgium’s Thomas Meunier (Ian Walton/PA)

The 30-year-old has also started every game for his club so far this season, with Atleti currently third in LaLiga and looking handily-placed for a shot at the title.

With the season truncated due to the lasting effects of the coronavirus pandemic, and the rescheduled European Championship following in the summer, there has been plenty of concern about player welfare.

England boss Gareth Southgate has raised the issue, as have a number of Premier League managers, and Trippier believes the calendar is hard for players – who are always keen to play as much as possible.

“For me it’s just about managing myself, being professional after the games,” he said.

“Yes it is difficult, playing on a Saturday, then on a Tuesday in the Champions League, then on a Saturday again.

Kieran Trippier, left
Kieran Trippier, left, in Champions League action for Atletico Madrid against Liverpool (Peter Byrne/PA)

“It’s difficult but as a player you want to play as many games as you can but sometimes you just need to be professional, how you recover, how you manage yourself off the pitch.

“It’s difficult but in Spain we have five subs and that helps out a lot, so it’s just how you manage yourself.”

Southgate suggested some players may start to be pressured by clubs to withdraw from international squads and enjoy a period of rest – but Trippier said he has never been warned off playing for England.

“I have never experienced that,” he said.

“Obviously if I get the opportunity to play for England then I’ll be here.

“Me personally, I’ve never experienced my club previously not telling me to come or anything, it’s just ‘report to England and try and play’ really.”

Trippier moved to Madrid from Tottenham in July 2019, having played his last game for Spurs in their Champions League final defeat to Liverpool.

He has adapted well to life in the Spanish capital but revealed it has been difficult not seeing his extended family recently due to the Covid restrictions in place across Europe.

“Obviously I don’t get to see my parents, and my grandparents and the rest of my family, but you need to keep yourself positive,” he added.

“I’ve got my wife and two children in Spain and I’ve got good people around me at the club, my team-mates who don’t live far from me.

“It can be difficult and challenging with what’s going on at the moment but I’ve got my wife and my kids.

“My mad two children keep me on my toes every single day but no, it is challenging and hard at times. We just need to keep the positive mindset. I’m sure I’ll see them all soon.”

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