Scott Parker insists he owes nobody an apology for fielding a strong Fulham team in the 1-1 draw with Tottenham, despite Jose Mourinho suggesting otherwise.
Spurs were originally due to host Fulham on December 30 before the game was postponed hours before kick-off due to a coronavirus outbreak within the Cottagers squad – something which angered Mourinho.
But with Tottenham’s Premier League trip to Aston Villa, scheduled for Wednesday, postponed due to an outbreak in the Villa camp, the Premier League rescheduled the London derby for the same night.
And the north London side missed the chance to go third after a frustrating 1-1 draw.
In the build-up, Mourinho had said Fulham should apologise to the rest of the Premier League if they fielded their strongest side.
But Parker made just one change from the team that drew with Southampton on Boxing Day – their last Premier League match. He revealed that many of his players had suffered problematic preparations for the Spurs game due to the virus and the isolation period.
“I owe no one an apology, this football club owes no one an apology,” Parker said.
“You can talk from the outside and people can see what they want to see and work out exactly what the script is but it was far from that.
Parker making a point
“There were two players on that pitch that had only trained for one day. They’d come back from Covid-19 and played in that game.
“I had players on the pitch that had just three or four days of training. The issue for me regarding this fixture wasn’t having just two days to prepare for it. I understand that.
“The issue was 16 days ago this game was scheduled in but since then we’ve had 10 positive cases. Thay was including a couple of staff and then on Monday morning we got told we had to play this game.
“That was my issue. People understood the predicament we were in – we wasn’t making it up. We’ve been very open, in terms of the safety of others too.
“This team came with a purpose and two days of hard work. In the end, we go away with a pleasing result.”