Jose Mourinho has warned the Premier League it cannot afford to keep postponing matches if it wants to finish the season.
Tottenham face Fulham tonight in a rearranged Premier League clash which was first postponed on December 30 – the day it was originally due to be played.
But even though the two clubs were only told on Monday this fixture was replacing Tottenham’s postponed clash with Aston Villa, for Mourinho it was the right decision.
Spurs, who are still competing in four competitions this season, have virtually no room in an already packed calendar to reschedule any more games.
But with clubs across the country struggling with a surge in Coronavirus cases, fears are growing that the Premier League may not be able to complete all its fixtures.
Newcastle manager Steve Bruce recently called it “morally wrong” to carry on, while West Brom’s Sam Allardyce called for a circuit-break.
But Mourinho said: “Do you want to finish the season or no? Do you want to be the only country in Europe without football or no?
“Do we want the end of the season with champions, a Cup winner, with relegation, with Europe, or we don’t? That’s the main question.
“For the teams in Europa League it is impossible to have more matches postponed.
“We need to play. If it's not Fulham then against somebody else. But we need to play a match. We cannot have any more matches postponed.
“The biggest impact is to have matches postponed. That is the biggest impact. The changing of the order of the matches, the impact is minimal I would say.
“In the end you have to play 19 matches at home and 19 away, and two matches against every team.
“So if it's to help the Premier League to go on and to handle properly, it's a solution we all have to accept as a positive solution.”
Mourinho also called for better leadership from league bosses – and less selfishness from clubs trying to use local outbreaks to their advantage.
He said: “If we all are selfish, or if you all want the perfect situation for ourselves, it is going to be difficult for the Premier League to make it amazing for everyone.
“Since pre-season I was told that if you have 14 players available, you play. I thought: ‘We are are going to end the season and we are not going to have problems.’
“That rule, if we can call it a rule, for some reason, changed. We had some matches postponed.
“Since that moment, the situation became a little bit more difficult. Then, we needed leadership. We needed decisions to be made.
“Come on, let’s play football. Let’s behave the best we can. Let’s protect our industry. Let’s protect our image and let’s play football.”
Tottenham (4-2-3-1):Lloris; Doherty, Dier, Alderweireld, Reguilon; Winks, Hojbjerg; Bergwijn, Ndombele, Son, Kane.
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