RICHARD O’Donnell admits the worst part of football’s current inertia is not knowing when it can start again.

It is coming up to a fortnight since the game was halted because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The season has been suspended until at least April 30 for now but that is likely to be pushed back until it is considered safe enough to resume.

City players have been confined to home since the training ground was shut – but keeper O’Donnell insists it is not a chance to switch off.

He said: “I hope that people high up don’t think this is a break from us. It’s far from it.

“You can’t switch off mentally or physically. You can’t have a couple of weeks of not doing anything like you would in the off-season.

“You’re sat at home knowing that the football season is not finished.

“Mentally you’re not relaxing before you get going again and building up gradually. It is difficult.

“If you finish the end of the season normally, you set a date when you’re going back into training.

“You know when the first game will be and you’ve got a target to aim towards.

“But at the minute, it’s difficult because we literally have no idea when we are going to be back in.”

O’Donnell revealed the players have been staying in touch via WhatsApp and they will continue to check on each other during the current lockdown, however long it goes on.

He added: “We’ve got a group chat going off pretty much every day with the lads seeing what we’re all doing and making sure everyone’s all right. Luckily everyone seems to be fit and well.

“You see these lads every day – normally I spend more time with them than I probably do with the family. Now you’ve gone from one extreme to the other.”

Training has been stopped indefinitely since the last session on March 13. The players have been given programmes by fitness coach Ben Rome to keep them ticking over.

“It’s just a case of trying to keep yourself as fit as you can,” said O’Donnell.

“But on the flip side, you’ve got to make sure you don’t overdo it because when you do come back the season’s going to be prolonged. You don’t want to burn out too quickly.

“It would be easy to just sit at home and use the kids as an excuse that you can’t get out and not to do anything.

“I’m driving the missus mad because I’m a very physical person who wants to be out doing stuff.

“I can’t just sit there in the house, I have to be doing something, whether it’s a bit of cleaning or gardening.

“We’ve got so much energy as footballers that we’re used to using every day going into training. You can do all the running still but it's not the same.

“It’s important that everybody speaks as well. It’s not just about the coronavirus keeping everyone in but when you’re confined, mentally it can become tough."