Frustrated Scott Parker ‘finding different ways’ to work in self-isolation

Sonia Twigg, PA Sport
·3-min read

Scott Parker believes he is unable to do his job “to the maximum” during his period of self-isolation but insisted they are making the best of a bad situation.

The Fulham boss will be absent from the touchline for the visit of Southampton on Boxing Day after a member of his household tested positive for Covid-19, but could return for the short trip to Tottenham on December 30 if he returns a further negative test.

“I miss that (hands-on coaching) massively. That’s what’s frustrating really – frustrating because we’re in competition,” the 40-year-old said.

“The last time we were in lockdown, no one was in competition, you’re not competing at that moment, you’re just competing in your own way in terms of trying to get players to their optimum levels for when the season starts up again, but at this moment we’re competing.

“I feel I’m not able to do that to my maximum, I’m not able to do my job to my maximum. I understand why, of course, but while others are, I’m not. That’s probably what is a bit frustrating.”

Matt Wells and Stuart Gray are set to take charge of the Cottagers on Saturday but Parker said he is trying to make the best of a bad situation and use modern technology to have as big an influence as possible from home.

“It’s been different, as you’d expect it would be,” he said. “I’m still having meetings like I would on a daily basis before training, planning them with the staff, I’m just not there physically.

Matt Wells, left, will help deputise for Scott Parker
Matt Wells, left, will help deputise for Scott Parker (Dave Thompson/PA)

“The input is still pretty much the same, but my presence around the place and taking training, being on the grass, is obviously not there.

“I think the world we live in now has certainly taught me how to use the technology we have to hand and finding different ways. That’s what we’re doing at the moment to try and make the best of a bad situation.”

Fulham have suffered just one defeat, away at Manchester City, in their last five matches, which included an away victory at Leicester and a draw against Liverpool.

Southampton have impressed so far this season and currently sit in seventh place, having been inside the top four before their own defeat to City, and Parker believes it will be a difficult game.

“It’s fair to say (they are) a very very good team and they’ve done remarkably well, a high-pressure team with a lot of quality in their side as well,” he said.

“So a tough game for us at the weekend, but one we’re going to go into trying to get a result.”