Jose Mourinho hopes non-league Marine can get their Rossett Park stadium Covid-secure in time for FA Cup clash with Tottenham as he vows to ‘respect’ minnows by using ‘the players they want to play against’
- Jose Mourinho is hoping non-league Marine can get their stadium Covid-secure
- The Merseyside club were drawn to play Premier League leaders in the FA Cup
- But the game may be moved from Rossett Park due to social distancing concerns
- Mourinho has vowed to ‘respect’ the competition and play a strong line-up
Jose Mourinho says he hopes Marine can get their tiny Rossett Park stadium Covid-secure in time for their historic FA Cup tie against Tottenham.
The Merseyside club from the eighth tier of the football pyramid have been drawn to face Premier League leaders Spurs at home in the FA Cup third round in January.
The two teams are 168 league places apart, the most ever in the history of the competition, but the tie may have to be moved to a bigger venue in order to meet social distancing guidelines.
Non-league Marine will host Tottenham in the FA Cup third round at Rossett Park
Mourinho hopes the Merseyside club can get the stadium Covid-secure or it will be moved
‘I am excited,’ said Mourinho. ‘I learned to love the FA Cup as a kid. When I came to England I learned a lot about it too and experienced great things in that competition. It’s a beautiful thing for everyone and I look forward to it.
‘I hope there are good conditions in the stadium, in terms of safety-related to protocols. I would love to play in that small stadium, that’s for sure.
‘It means a lot for the home fans, the players and the coach.
‘The best way to respect them is to take the team, the players they want to play against. We are going to respect them. We are going to respect the competition.’
Marine play in the Northern Premier League Division One North West and would like to use their own ground which usually has a capacity of 3,185.
Marine have made it into the FA Cup third round and will face the Premier League leaders
Merseyside is currently in Tier 2 of the Government’s Covid restictions which would limit any crowd to 2,000.
First, Mourinho is focused on progress in the Europa League.
A point for Tottenham against LASK in Austria, on Thursday, will clinch a place in the last 32 of the competition with one group game remaining.
‘LASK is fighting for a chance to qualify,’ said Mourinho. ‘We beat them quite easily at home but that game doesn’t reflect the difference between the two teams. I still consider LASK our strongest opponent in the group phase, and we have a very difficult game.’
Mourinho has vowed to ‘respect’ the competition and take a strong side for the tie next month
Harry Kane is among those not expected to travel to Austria. Sergio Regiulon, Carlos Vinicus and Erik Lamela all missed training on Wednesday.
Toby Alderweireld is back on the training pitch after injury and could be fit to face Arsenal on Sunday.
Mourinho is also confident Kane will be available for the North London derby after a break against LASK.
‘There’s a good chance,’ said the Spurs boss. ‘I think he’s going to play, that’s my feeling.’