THE Premier League super heroes are back in the field battle tonight and dressed for success in a mask, gloves and a cape will be Manchester City masseur Mark Sertori.

The former Wrexham striker-turned-defender has a hands-on role at City were he has been part of the back-room staff for 12 years.

He’ll be on the touchline in a deserted Etihad Stadium for tonight’s clash between City and Arsenal as football does it’s bit to rally a flagging nation that has struggled desperately to cope during the coronavirus crisis.

Sertori says he’s ready to go but admits top-flight football won’t be the same without the fans.

“It what football is all about - the fans,” said Sertori. “The grounds will feel dead without them but football being back - and the supporters can watch the games on TV - will give everyone a boost.

“The next few weeks are something we’re all have to get used to. We’ve been back in training but not with the same amount of people. It’s been a skeleton staff at the training ground really.”

But with social distancing the ‘buzz phrase’ from the Government, how does a masseur cope?

“To be fair, we’ve had all the guidelines handed down to us,” added Sertori. “The FA has implemented all the regulations, we get tested daily and we’ve got to wear gloves, mask and a cape and only be with the player for 15 minute periods.

“That’s what we have to do because of the horrendous situation we’re due to the coronavirus pandemic and we’ll try and get through it until normal service resumes.”

Sertori’s career as a key member of City’s back-room staff has really taken off with the 52-year-old Mancunian a vital member of Pep Guardiola’s team.

“There is real team spirit here,” added Sertori, who has enjoyed trophy parades during his time with the mega-rich Manchester club.

“Pep’s a great man, a great coach with superb leadership qualities. Tactically, he is off the planet with what he does but he’s really down to earth.

“He makes sure we all feel part of the team and that’s what makes the club a great one to work for.

“I’ve been with the club 12 years and how the owners have shaped things since coming in has been tremendous.”

Sertori, who can also boat 103 international appearances on England duty, was previously with Bolton before making the switch across town Eastlands.

“I’ve been lucky enough to work under Sam Allardyce at Bolton,” added Sertori, who admitted a career as a masseur always tempted him during his playing days.

“I wanted to stay involved in football and this always interested me. Working with Sam, whose philosophy on the game was somethings else, was brilliant for me.

“Then to come to City and work with other great, world-class managers and players, it’s been superb.”

Heading to The Etihad meant Sertori’s football career had gone full circle after kicking off playing as a forward for a club called East Manchester,

A four-game spell at Stockport, where he still lives, was followed by a move to Lincoln City.

And that’s where Brian Flynn went to make him his first signing as Wrexham manager, using £30,000 from the funds raised in the Wrexham Revival campaign to try and score the goals to save the Reds from the threat of relegation in 1990.

Sertori scored only two in 20 games but the Wrexham coaching staff, including club legend Joey Jones, spotted something in the 6ft 2in attacker’ game.

“They turned me into a defender and I can’t speak highly enough of Joey Jones,” added Sertori, who went on to play more than 100 times for Wrexham, including the FA Cup win over Arsenal in 1992 and in the promotion campaign into the old third division the following year.

“Joey, considering the level he played at, was so modest but he would put his points across so well. And when Joey Jones told you do something, it was non-negotiable.

“I always have fond memories of Wrexham. It was a fantastic club, great people, great fans and I keep meaning to try and go back there to watch a game but it’s difficult with my commitments.

“I really loved my days at Wrexham and in the end I was sorry to go.”