CHERRIES defender Chris Mepham revealed he was “dreading” taking the test for coronavirus as part of the early stages of Project Restart but said it had become “less painful”.

Mepham has returned to training with Eddie Howe’s men after a serious knee injury forced him to have surgery back in January.

He is vying for a place in the club’s first game back when they host Crystal Palace on Saturday (7.45pm).

Premier League players and staff have been tested twice a week since returning to training, as part of the protocols for resuming the division.

Speaking about the procedure on the Football Ramble Daily podcast, Mepham said: “Personally I was dreading it. I heard roughly what the test would consist of and it didn’t sound that pleasant.

“I think a lot of the lads were the same.

“But yeah, I think the testing has got easier, less painful.

“Ultimately, it’s giving the Premier League all the information that they need in terms of who’s come back positive, who’s come back negative, and ultimately, that’s the right thing to do.”

With games set to be played behind closed doors from now until the end of the season, the Wales international revealed how he had been watching the Bundesliga to get a flavour of the action.

“I definitely watched a few of the games, and yeah – it is very different,” he added.

“You can sort of hear the sound of the ball when you’re watching the games.

“Everything becomes a lot more clear, you obviously haven’t got the noise from the fans, so there’s suddenly a lot more focus on the actual game itself, rather than being sat there and listening to a lot of commentary, listening to the atmosphere from fans.

“Sometimes when you’re watching a game of football you can get lost with the emotions of it, but I think, take fans away and suddenly you’ve got a lot of focus on the actual game itself.

“You can hear things a lot clearer. And I think it will change the field again – people’s voices being heard a lot more, information from team-mates will become a lot clearer, so I think it will affect it in different ways.

“We’ll only know the full effects once we’re in that environment come June 20.”