Tony Mowbray says his players are itching to start playing again but admits any possible return will be down to risk assessment.

The EFL have pushed back the return to training date to May 25, though Championship clubs remain intent on finishing the final nine games of the season.

Extensive testing will be required, and cost each club more than £200,000, but the return of the Bundesliga at the weekend has offered hope to the English game.

The EFL season has been suspended since March 13 but Mowbray’s view is that the world, and in turn football, has to return to some sense of normality soon.

And while he accepts there will be an element of risk, Mowbray believes returning to training will be a big step forward for the game.

“If we’re going to put a spectacle on we have to find a way of coming through phase one and coming back to training,” he explained.

“We have to find a way of getting to phase two of contact football, not just running and passing 15 metres apart, find a way to put games on. When that is, I don’t know.

“I’m not an expert and I keep telling my players that someone cleverer than me has to give me the answers of when we’re going to get back to playing football.”

Mowbray accepts there will be no “ideal world” until a vaccine for COVID-19 has been found.

Football plans to make the game as safe as possible, with strict guidelines provided to clubs as part of the return to training protocols that will initially see groups of no more than five taking part.

That will be while observing social distancing, and with no access to the indoor training facilities.

Mowbray says common sense will need to be applied, but told the BBC: “We are being guided by scientists, who are guiding the Government, it’s risk assessment. There’s risk in everything we do in life, wherever we go, crossing the road, driving our cars.”

He added: “This is my personal view, that at some stage we have to get back to some level of normality, otherwise if people don’t go to work they don’t get paid and the lights go off in your house.

“We have to get the economy going. Nine weeks in, is that the right time? I’m not sure. But what I know is that there is risk in everything you do in life and at this moment we have to come through being afraid of coronavirus.

“I’m sure there are examples of people who’ve taken ill and passed away who are of a certain age group, but I’m trying to say to say to my footballers, this is the fittest you’re ever going to be in your lives, probably, in their 20s and early 30s, powerful, strong, athletic.

“There’s also entertaining the nation, and I understand it’ll be behind closed doors with no supporters because of the vulnerability of some of those people who want to come and watch and use their season tickets.”

Mowbray has been back in the north east with his family, but has remained in regular contact with his squad who have been working to individual training programmes, while also having a three-week break last month.

The Rovers boss says the concerns of players will need to be listened to, stating: “Young, athletic footballers, I know they will have parents, pregnant partners, or people in their households with asthma, so you have to be considerate of all of that stuff.

“I’m trying to get a balance. You can’t just stop the world because nothing will happen.

“These meetings with the EFL, it’s the balance between safety and health but getting the games back on but with footballers who aren’t above the law and have to stick to Government guidelines.

“But I know they’re champing at the bit to get the ball back at their feet and get back training again.

“My own personal view is that we have to get the world moving again, football is what we talk about, but the economy, has to move. People, at some stage, have to go back to work.

“That won’t be an ideal world, the virus will still be around and affecting. I think we have to show common sense.

“There will be a risk, until we find a vaccine, that the world has to get back to work and to move.

“Football is a part of the fabric of life in the UK in my opinion. Some people probably take it too seriously, but I think seeing football back on the TV would be good.”