Jose Mourinho denies he wants to delay Premier League's 'Project Restart'
"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"
Last Updated: 14/05/20 6:21pm
Jose Mourinho has denied reports he has attempted to delay the Premier League's 'Project Restart' over concerns for players' fitness.
It was claimed Tottenham head coach Mourinho called for players to have at least one month of training before football could resume, during a meeting with other Premier League managers on Wednesday.
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However, the former Chelsea and Manchester United manager has hit back at the reports and insists he is "desperate" for football to return.
"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, in a statement released by Tottenham.
"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.
"I am extremely proud of the way my players have maintained their fitness - they have shown great professionalism, passion and dedication.
"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."
The Premier League met with players, the PFA and government experts on Wednesday to discuss a potential return to training next week.
All players have been given a 40-page document on training protocols and each club was represented on the videoconference meeting by their captain.
The aim is to make Premier League training grounds among the safest places in England, with players tested at least twice a week, given a mini medical to check for underlying respiratory or cardiac issues and foreign players returning from abroad not allowed into the training ground for 14 days.
The Premier League, FA and EFL will meet with culture secretary Oliver Dowden on Thursday afternoon to discuss the plans.
Players could return to non-contact training as early as next week if the plans are given government approval, with June 12 suggested as one potential restart date for the Premier League behind closed doors.