Mourinho: Fulham should apologise if they go full strength at Spurs
Jose Mourinho demands an APOLOGY from Fulham if they field a full strength side against Tottenham in a jibe at his former player Scott Parker over moans at the ‘scandalous’ late fixture change
- Tottenham host Fulham on Wednesday evening in the rearranged league match
- Spurs were scheduled to meet Fulham on December 30 but that was called off
- The match was postponed after a Covid-19 outbreak among the Fulham squad
- Tottenham were meant to face Aston Villa away this Wednesday evening
- But Fulham have replaced them as Spurs’ opponents after Villa’s Covid outbreak
Jose Mourinho has claimed Fulham should apologise for jeopardising the completion of the Premier League if they turn up at Tottenham with a full-strength team.
‘Do you want to finish the season or not?’ snapped Spurs boss Mourinho as angry accusations flew from both sides ahead of Wednesday night’s hastily rearranged London derby.
Fulham boss Scott Parker said it was ‘scandalous’ and ‘blatantly wrong’ for his team to be forced into a game at such short notice — to ease Tottenham’s congested fixture list.
Jose Mourinho has stuck the knife into Fulham and Scott Parker by claiming the club should apologise if they turn up with a full-strength team for hastily rearranged clash
Scott Parker is furious his Fulham side were given such short notice for the rescheduled fixture
‘I’m angry, I’m disappointed,’ fumed Parker. ‘Do I believe this would happen if it was a top-of-the-table clash? No I don’t. I don’t think it should happen to anyone. It is very unfair.’
Fulham have players only just back from isolation and claim they would have taken a different approach to Saturday’s FA Cup tie at QPR, won in extra time, had they known they were at Spurs four days later.
‘We’re not making this up,’ insisted Parker as he stressed the ‘integrity of the game’ and the ‘welfare of the players’ but there was little sympathy from Spurs.
Fulham were next set to take on Chelsea on Friday, but they now face Spurs two days earlier
Mourinho said: ‘We’ve played, if I’m not wrong, 11 more matches than Fulham since the beginning of the season.’
Although his numbers were one out — unless he counts the Carabao Cup tie forfeited by Leyton Orient because of a Covid outbreak — his point was clear. This is Tottenham’s 30th game in 122 days since the season started. It is Fulham’s 20th.
‘We played every week three matches a week,’ said Mourinho. ‘We played in one week, four matches. They played Saturday against QPR. They have Sunday, Monday and Tuesday to prepare for the game.
‘If they come with half of the team, I will be the first one to apologise to them, and I will be the first to say we played this game with an advantage.
‘If they come with their best team, I think they should apologise to all of us.’
Mourinho shared a video of his Spurs squad waiting in the stadium for Fulham on December 30
Mourinho mocked the Premier League and its ‘best league in the world’ tag in Instagram post
The original fixture due for December 30 was called off on the day of the game, at Fulham’s request when they recorded positive Covid tests within the camp. It still rankles with Mourinho.
Asked if it was acceptable for Fulham to be given only 48 hours’ notice, he replied: ‘Are you serious? They had 48 hours to prepare for this game. I had the news I was not going to play them two hours before the game.’
Parker said the postponement in December was ‘an irrelevance’ and the issue was being ordered to play a Wednesday game at 9.30am on Monday. ‘Tottenham knew they had a fixture,’ he said. ‘Mourinho’s team selection at the weekend suggested that. He will have planned for that.’
Spurs were expecting to go to Aston Villa on Wednesday night but that was called off because of Covid issues at Villa. And Dean Smith’s side are believed to have asked the league for Sunday’s game against Everton to be postponed, too, amid fears they will not be allowed back into their training ground until the day before the match.
‘We had cases almost every week,’ said Mourinho. ‘One coach, one player, one medical staff. We had it all the time but we went in the direction of doing the best we can.
‘We have to play football no matter what because if you have 14 players you have to play. We never tried to take advantage of it.’
His focus on the league’s vague 14-player directive hinted at a feeling at Tottenham that some rival clubs were using the testing protocol to gain an advantage.
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