Fulham don't owe anyone an apology, says Parker

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Premier League - Tottenham Hotspur v Fulham - Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, London, Britain - January 13, 2021 Fulham manager Scott Parker Pool via REUTERS/Shaun Botterill

(Reuters) - Fulham manager Scott Parker said he owes no apologies for fielding a strong side in Wednesday's 1-1 draw with Tottenham Hotspur after Spurs boss Jose Mourinho had expressed doubts over the seriousness of their COVID-19 issues.

Spurs had been scheduled to face Aston Villa on Wednesday 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, itself postponed two hours before kickoff on Dec. 30 after an outbreak in the Fulham squad, was squeezed in.

Mourinho said on Monday if Fulham arrived for the match "with their best team I think they should apologise to all of us," while Parker said it was "scandalous" to only confirm the match two days prior to kick-off.

"Myself and this football club owe no one an apology because you can talk from the outside and people can see what they want to see and work out what the script was but it was far from that," Parker told reporters after match.

Several players' preparations for the game had been impacted by the virus and health protocols, he said.

"There were two players on that pitch that had trained one day, come back from COVID and had one day's training. Players had three or four days training," he added.

"People need to understand the predicament we were in. We are not making it up. We have been very open and had worries for the safety of others too."

Fulham, who are 18th, are unbeaten in five league games and are now two points from safety.

(Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru;Editing by Peter Rutherford)

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