Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho says Premier League must not punish them with more postponements

Tottenham face minnows Marine in the FA Cup third round on Sunday before back-to-back away games live on Sky Sports Premier League, against Aston Villa and Sheffield United on January 13 and January 17 respectively; fixture at Villa Park is in doubt, however, over coronavirus fears

Jose Mourinho (AP)
Image: Jose Mourinho says Tottenham 'cannot be punished' with further postponements

Jose Mourinho has challenged the Premier League to "show leadership" and not punish Tottenham with further postponements over coronavirus concerns.

Wednesday's Premier League trip to Villa Park is in doubt after an outbreak of coronavirus in the Aston Villa first-team squad - and with 10 first-team players ruled out for the home side - it seems likely the game will be called off.

Spurs have already had one Premier League game postponed, against Fulham after a significant rise in Covid-19 cases among Scott Parker's squad, and the reverse fixture with the Cottagers in April will also be moved after Spurs reached the Carabao Cup final.

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"We cannot be put in an impossible situation," Mourinho said on Friday. "To have three matches postponed would be impossible.

"It's the moment for the Premier League to show leadership, to make decisions. A club like us is trying everything every day to be ready to play, to follow the rules we have in our hands.

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Mourinho labels the postponement of Tottenham's game against Fulham as 'unprofessional' after it was called off three hours before kick-off

"We cannot be punished. If we don't play against Aston Villa, that will be three matches postponed, and that will be impossible.

"After the season we have the Euros [due to begin on June 11], and of course the Euros are not going to be moved. I believe it is an impossible situation for a club to have three matches postponed, especially if that club plays in Europe.

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"For a Europa League team to have three matches postponed is completely impossible, that is the only thing I can say."

Mourinho confirmed his entire squad have tested negative for the virus in the latest round of checks, despite Brentford boss Thomas Frank testing positive after Spurs' Carabao Cup semi-final win over the Sky Bet Championship side.

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Highlights of the Carabao Cup semi-final between Tottenham and Brentford

Prior to Spurs' top-flight double-header live on Sky Sports, they face Marine in the third round of the FA Cup on Sunday, with Sky Sports pundit Jamie Carragher stepping in to sponsor the non-League team after they were forced to move the match behind closed doors due to Covid-19 restrictions, missing out on around £100,000 in potential revenue.

The Northern Premier League Division One side had hoped to be able to welcome 500 supporters, but have instead been finding help in other ways, with Premier League champions Liverpool stepping in to offer them help with analysis.

"Liverpool helping Marine is normal, you know, they are neighbours, I am pretty sure there is an emotional connection," Mourinho added.

"If they gave analysis or certain access to footage they might not usually have, I think that is absolutely normal.

Gareth Bale (AP)
Image: Gareth Bale told Mourinho he wants to play against Marine

"It will be a team playing the game of their careers. We must respect them, and win the match. I always believe the best way to respect these teams is to beat them. To play with a good team, a team with responsibility and motivation."

Mourinho made the unusual step of confirming that he will bring 19 first-team players out of a squad of 20 for the match, and when quizzed if Gareth Bale might feature, he said: "He trained today, for the first time with us [since his injury].

"Tomorrow will be the second time and after training tomorrow we will make a decision. Gareth told me he would like to go [to Marine] and play. If tomorrow the feelings are positive, Gareth will come."

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