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It'd be a tragedy if Liverpool were denied Premier League title due to coronavirus - Pearson

14:58 GMT+4 14/03/2020
Mohamed Salah Liverpool 2019-20
The Watford boss says that everything should remain in perspective but that the Reds merit the 2019-20 crown for an outstanding season

Watford manager Nigel Pearson says that it would be a “tragedy” for Liverpool if they were denied the Premier League title due to coronavirus, though he urged the public to keep things in perspective.

Football in England has been cancelled until at least April 4 due to the pandemic, which the World Health Organisation (WHO) reported on Friday had infected over 132,500 people around the globe.

The Reds, who have won 27 of their 29 matches, currently lead the standings by 25 points, with second-placed Manchester City having 30 left available to play for. A first title in 30 years seemed inevitable, though the virus may deny them their moment of glory.

There is doubt as to whether the season will be finished, with West Ham vice-chairman Karren Brady suggesting that the whole campaign should be declared null and void, and that Premier League bosses are living in “dreamland” if they expect the season to continue again at the beginning of next month.

Pearson, whose Watford side lie 17th in the Premier League table and are outside the relegation zone only on goal difference, is less certain what the future holds.

“Well, the longer it goes on the more difficult it will be to conclude the season,” he told the Guardian. “We have to keep this in perspective, of course, but for Liverpool it would be such a tragedy not to conclude the season. 

“But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. It could be that when we get to April, we may be able to resume and go into the summer months. How it looks for football pales – not into insignificance – but we need perspective on real-life issues. But, yes, purely on a football basis it’s going to throw up problems we’ve not experienced in this country before.”

Meanwhile, with an unknown Watford player being tested for the virus, Pearson is ready to self-isolate if required.

“I would follow the recommendations like everyone else. It depends on the outcome of the test and that will have a knock-on effect on how I behave. We’re just sitting tight at the moment,” he said.

Watford were due to play Leicester at home this weekend, followed by an away fixture against Burnley, though both those fixtures have been cancelled, with their next match slated for April 4, when they are due to host Southampton.