Pep Guardiola has praised key workers for 'risking their lives to protect ours' in the fight against the coronavirus, as he urges fans to 'stay safe and be careful' while adhering to lockdown measures.
The Premier League was suspended indefinitely back in March following the outbreak of COVID-19 but there have been ongoing discussions to get football in England's top-flight back underway following the Bundesliga's successful return earlier this month.
Guardiola and his first team return to the Etihad Campus last week following talks with league officials to get the ball rolling with Project Restart.
Now the 49-year-old insists he will be happy to make a return to the pitch once it is safe to do so.
'All the fans around the world are waiting for football to come back. We want to come back but now the priority is other things,' Guardiola told the club's official YouTube channel.
'The message is still stay safe, be careful and when everything is possible we will come back. First I think without [the fans], but hopefully we come back to a routine.
'But now the most important thing is to follow the instructions. If they say use a mask, stay at home, social distance – we have to do it. Because there are many, many people in the NHS, who put their own lives at risk to save ours.
'It's incredible what they have done, and we have to follow them. Now, we cannot do anything wrong.'
The Spaniard oversaw first-team training in small groups at the weekend with the squad being tested for coronavirus.
Guardiola watched on while wearing a facemask and surgical gloves, sticking to strict medical advise given by experts.
'It's nice to come back of course,' he said. 'We follow the rules we have to. This is the most important thing. We don't do anything special.
'[The players are] really good. I think they have been looking forward to coming back and training again and do what they like. They came back perfectly.'
Guardiola suffered heartbreaking news during lockdown after his mother Dolors Sala Corrio sadly passed away at the ag of 82 after contracting the coronavirus.
It came weeks after he donated £920,000 to help buy medical supplies to help fight the deadly disease back home in Catalonia.