Chris Curran has stressed the importance of being attentive to each other’s mental health amid the protective measures being taken to curb the spread of the Covid-19 virus.
Almost three weeks have passed since Cliftonville were last in action and, with no return scheduled for the foreseeable future, the skipper predicts a new-found appreciation for football will be expressed by all concerned when the time comes – but has also spoken out on the need to take care of people in wider society.
“It’s important that we look out for each other mentally,” he explains.
“I think it’s one of the most important things for people to keep in mind at the moment. I think it’s fair to say there are issues around that area in this country anyway and situations like this probably don’t help that.
“A lack of exercise and a lack of contact with people probably brings those kind of issues to the fore. It’s massively important that we look out for each other at the moment, keep those lines of communication open, keep in contact with each other, keep asking each other if we’re okay and just try to get through this tough patch together.”
Like much of the population, Curran has been performing his day job from home of late and says he has been combining that work with his own personal fitness routine.
“I’m just getting on with it, there isn’t really much else you can do,” he adds.
“You just have to do your best to keep fit, keep active and try to keep your sanity while you’re cooped up in the house, but I can’t complain – I’ve been working from home for the best part of two weeks now. I’m getting used to that and getting used to trying to get the exercise in from home as well, the best we can.
“It’s getting to the point now where you’re missing football, missing training and missing playing games. Hopefully, sooner rather than later, things will be back to normal.”
This was, of course, supposed to be Sadler’s Peaky Blinder Irish Cup Semi Final weekend – albeit Cliftonville’s clash with Glentoran had already been rearranged – but, following on from impressive away wins over Dungannon Swifts and the Glens, the Reds’ momentum was halted by the postponement of a scheduled Danske Bank Premiership encounter with Institute.
Curran is, however, hopeful that the hiatus will not negatively impact him and his team-mates by the time they don their boots again.
“We had been going well and everyone was looking forward to the next game against Institute – but that’s life and that’s football,” says the 29-year-old.
“I think the main thing now is try and keep ourselves ticking over and, as we come closer to the time when we will return, really stepping up the gears and getting ourselves back into full fitness or as close to where we were when we left off. That’s the plan.
“Hopefully when we do come back, we can hit the ground running and try to keep that momentum as intact as we can, try to bring the confidence from those games and performances into the next game – whenever that may be – because we were in a really good place.
“There’s no reason why we can’t continue where we left off once we do get back.
“I’m sure everybody will have a new perspective when this is over, it takes an unprecedented situation like this to bring a new perspective about.
“I’m sure everybody is looking forward to getting back and, once everybody is back, they’ll have a new appreciation for that and being able to play football.”