West Ham United’s Aaron Cresswell has said he is petrified about the coronavirus pandemic and that there is no rush for football to resume until everyone’s safety is assured.

The England left-back told the club website at first he did not think the outbreak was as serious as it is, but that now he is aware, he wants everyone to follow the government’s advice and do all they can to isolate themselves and prevent the virus from spreading.

“At the start, I don’t think anyone realised how serious it was,” he said.

“Once we played the Arsenal game, football came to a stop after Mikel Arteta was tested, and it came back positive. Their squad went into isolation and then that was pretty much it. There was no other option. Football had to be suspended.

“Here we are four weeks later, football has been suspended again until 30 April, but the most important thing is everyone’s health and wellbeing. Football can wait. Simple as that.

“I’ve got a baby daughter and she is five weeks’ old and, I’ll be honest, I’m petrified.

“In my opinion, I think there has been a lot of talk about how quick we can get football back, but the main focus should be on people’s health and staying indoors.

“Of course, we’re all missing it but there is a whole bigger picture than a game of football and I believe once all this has blown over, we can get back up and running.”

“None of us know how long we will be out for and we all want to stay in the Premier League, but we cannot rush back just because people say we need to do it in a certain time period to complete the season.”

Cresswell insisted that play could only resume once it is safe for absolutely everyone, including the players.

He suggested that playing behind closed doors may not be the best idea.

“There is talk of playing games behind closed doors before the crowds return but I hope the players are respected as much as the public are, and they don’t just ask us to play for entertainment on TV,” he said.

“You’re going to need all the officials, staff, medical provision, media and broadcasters, so it’s not just 22 players going out and playing football.

“If we go back too soon and one player tests positive, then the whole competition would need to be suspended, otherwise it wouldn’t be a level playing field if some teams are without their best players.

“It’s a waiting game.”