Manger of Tottenham Hotspur, Jose Mourinho, has insisted that he never tried to delay the restart of the English Premier League over the fitness level of his players. He said he rather wish the season to restart on time so as to commence training.
There were reports alleging that the former Chelsea and Manchester United coach spoke against “project restart” during the meeting Premier League had with coaches on Wednesday. The Portuguese tacticians allegedly decided to speak against the effort to restart the 2019-2020 season in June because most of his players are not fit enough to resume the season which has been halted since March 13 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
However, Tottenham Hotspur released a statement on behalf of the coach debunking the report. In the statement, Mourinho stressed that he is “desperate” for football to return “as soon as it is safe”. He also stressed that he didn’t ask for any delay during the meeting.
“I don’t think my position in the meeting has been reflected fairly at all today in media reports. I have not asked for any delay,” Mourinho said.
“I want to train, and I am desperate for the Premier League to return as soon as it is safe to do so, particularly now we are seeing other leagues preparing to return to action.
While reacting on the fitness level of his players, Mourinho said he is “extremely proud of the way” his players have maintained their fitness – “they have shown great professionalism, passion and dedication”, he said.
“We have all been working extremely hard through remote squad training sessions and isolated running now the pitches are available to use again at the training centre.
“Every player has been extremely committed in terms of their individual work and now we wait for clearance to commence working in small groups again, which I will fully support.”
Premier League Restart: Players meet with their captains
Meanwhile, as at the time of publishing this report, players of the various Premier League clubs were having meetings with their clubs’ captains to discuss the 40 pages document provided by the Premier League to guide them when group training resumes later this month.
In the document, the protocol for the training is spelt out to the players in order to keep them safe while they train with their fellow teammates. The meeting would enable the players to have their input in the whole process that will ultimately lead to the restart of the season.