Ilkay Gundogan says he has been taking inspiration from Leroy Sane during the current suspension of football.

With the outbreak of COVID-19 meaning all top-flight matches have been postponed until further notice, the City players are currently training at home, carrying out individual plans devised by Club coaches and medical professionals.   

Gundogan has revealed that he and fellow Germany international Sane are pushing one another via FaceTime in a bid to remain as fit as possible until football returns.

And he also says the break may bring long-term benefits for Sane, who was on the cusp of a first-team comeback just before lockdown measures were introduced having missed seven months with anterior cruciate ligament damage in his right knee.

“We have the same fitness coach in Germany,” Gundogan explained. “Some days we do our exercises via FaceTime. It’s worked out well so far and we’re on it and trying to be very focused.

“For everyone the situation has its good and bad sides. On one hand, Leroy had already trained with the team and he had his comeback in sight, even though he still had a few minor things.

“But he was almost back at playing again. Especially for your psyche, it’s important to be able to play again after such a long time.

“On the other hand, he now has a bit more time to figure out those minor problems he still had. The fact that others can’t play either is not so bad for him.”

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Despite forging a working relationship with Sane on FaceTime, Gundogan admits being confined to his home makes it difficult to motivate himself at times.

Without the routine of traveling into the CFA and taking part in structured sessions with his teammates, he feels it’s hard to train with the same level of intensity as he did before.

But, like everyone across society, he says he has good and bad days.

“I have a few things to do and then I’m ready to go,” he said.

“To be honest, it’s not so easy to motivate yourself these days every day when you are training. You know, like people who are working from home, you can maybe compare it to that.

“For those people it’s also not the same as driving to work every day and then doing their jobs.

“You have to motivate yourself to do things and to do your work. Some days it’s harder than others.”

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