Fulham boss Scott Parker will not be on the bench for their game on Boxing Day against Southampton (watch live, 10am ET on Peacock Premium) as a member of his household has tested positive for COVID-19.
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Parker will now self-isolate as per UK government guidelines, and his assistant coaches will be in the dugout for Fulham’s clash against the Saints and will be in charge on the day.
Here is a statement the west London club have released on the developing situation, as Parker will no doubt be in contact with his bench throughout the game.
“The Club can confirm that Scott Parker will not be in the dugout for our home fixture against Southampton on Boxing Day. Following a member of his household testing positive for Covid-19, and despite returning a negative result, Scott has been self-isolating this week in accordance with the guidance.
“Matt Wells and Stuart Gray will take charge of the team on Saturday. Subject to returning a further negative result, Scott Parker will return to the dugout for our away fixture against Tottenham Hotspur on 30 December.”
Parker’s Fulham have been much better in recent weeks as they beat Leicester and have drawn against Liverpool, Brighton and Newcastle.
Not having him on the bench will be a blow, but his coaching staff will be able to get his message across.
With the new strain of coronavirus having a huge impact in London and the South East of England, the Premier League have announced plans to ramp up testing for clubs based in Tier 4 (the highest level of government restrictions) areas, as well as PL clubs based in lower tiers.
In the lower leagues of English soccer several festive games have been postponed due to significant outbreaks of COVID-19 among players and staff, and the Premier League will be doing all it can to make sure everyone connected with the competition stays as safe as possible as cases surge in England.
The fact that the PL has, up until now, only had one game postponed this season due to a COVID-19 outbreak is remarkable.