Football

Scott Parker: It’s scandalous to play game with just 48 hours’ notice

Fulham manager Scott Parker has criticised the English Premier League for rearranging his side's game at Tottenham Hotspur for tomorrow morning (Singapore time), giving him only 48 hours to prepare his players.

Fourth-placed Spurs were scheduled to face Aston Villa, but that match was postponed after a Covid-19 outbreak forced the closure of the Midlands club's training ground.

Instead, Tottenham's home game with Fulham, which was postponed two hours before kick-off on Dec 30 after a Covid-19 outbreak among the Fulham squad, has been squeezed in.

While Parker said there was talk of a switch last weekend, it was confirmed only on Monday.

"To confirm that on Monday morning is scandalous. You're constantly working out well in advance," he said.

Fulham beat Queens Park Rangers in the FA Cup third round last Saturday and Parker said his team selection for that game might have changed had he known they would be facing Spurs a few days later.

Tottenham manager Jose Mourinho offered little sympathy for his Fulham counterpart when asked about it yesterday.

"Are you serious? They had 48 hours to prepare for this game. Look, I had the news that I wasn't going to play them two hours before the game started," he said in reference to the decision to postpone the original game against Fulham.

Parker said the Portuguese's gripe did not compare with his own dilemma.

"Regarding being told the (original) game was called off, it's an irrelevance. It's a disappointment," he said.

"To have a game called on with 48 hours' notice... to think we chuck a game bang in the middle of the week is another story.

"My players are fine and will be fine. I sit angry because I don't think it's right. I believe we'll give Spurs a game, but it's wrong. The problem is the time we've been told.

"It's beyond belief really."

Third-bottom Fulham were due to host Chelsea in the league on Saturday morning, but that has now been pushed back to Sunday morning. - REUTERS

Football