Federico Fernandez has been involved in a big interview this week as he trains from home in self-isolation, discussing everything from the coronavirus crisis, to his future on Tyneside and a potential return to Argentina.
The 31-year-old has also given his thoughts on the suspension of Premier League football, saying he is not expecting to return to training any time soon – also believing the season could yet be finished over a six-week period between July and August.
Speaking to Argentine outlet Olé, here’s what he’s had to say about the current season following the suspension of all Premier League games:
“We don’t know what will happen, there is nothing official,”
“This changes week to week, depending on how the virus evolves. When we were told to each of us stay at home, we thought that in two weeks it’d be controlled.
“Now on April 15th we would go back to training, supposedly, but I don’t think so.
“I doubt it will start in May, this is extended to June and July. The Premier meets with the clubs and they evaluate how to solve it.
“The reality is that you have to adapt to the virus, to what it causes in each country.”
Fernandez was then asked on his thoughts on how best to end the season, feeling it may be that the final 9 games are played over a busy ‘six-week’ period around July/August time – but insists health must come first in all of this:
“They are two or three games from achieving it, but hey… This has no precedent.
“They will have to evaluate everything, such as the champion, the relegations, those who can enter a European cup… there’s a lot to talk about.
“There are nine games left, you can play them in six weeks, in July or August you could play and then stretch the other season.
“I think it will be finished, we depend on everyone’s health. Then we talk about football.”
The former Napoli centre-back – who signed a new one-year extension on Tyneside last month – then talked about his future after being asked if a return to Argentina could be on the cards sometime soon.
Here’s what he said:
“I don’t know, today I’m very good at Newcastle. My idea is to stay the years that come at this level, it would be very good, and compete with the best.
“I prepared myself a lot to be here. What may happen in three or four years, who knows, the football and life turnarounds.
“I enjoyed my time at Estudiantes a lot, it’s an exceptional club, with first class facilities. With Sebastián Verón in charge, as he leads in the best way, that’s why Marcos returns.”
So, it seems he’s like to go back one day, but is firmly focused on spending his best years at St James’ Park over the next year or two.
Finally, Fernandez then discussed the club’s ambitions under Steve Bruce, suggesting we are trying to become a ‘top 10’ side who can also compete regularly in cup competitions:
“You have to be realistic, in the Premier with the big six it’s very difficult to compete, although we played good games against them. At the beginning of December we were eighth, with the possibility of going up a little more, which didn’t happen.
“Salvation is the main objective, but when you are in the Europa League area, or the FA Cup quarterfinals, like now, these are moments that mark you. And Newcastle haven’t won anything for a long time, they are situations that commit us to achieving something. And we want to be in the top 10.”