Jose Mourinho’s fears over Stoke City’s away dressing room, described as a “pigsty” by some managers, have been eased after the Championship club upgraded their facilities in time for Wednesday’s Carabao Cup quarterfinal against Tottenham.
The Spurs boss said he had been shown a video of conditions at the Bet365 Stadium which Middlesbrough boss Neil Warnock claimed were “an absolute disgrace” for the visiting team, with water covering the floor and fumes from a nearby engine circulating in the room.
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All Premier League and English Football League clubs have had to adapt their stadia to comply with COVID-19 regulations regarding social distancing, meaning many of resorted to temporary structures for travelling teams.
The EFL’s protocol guidelines state that “facilities made available to the visiting club should, as far as possible, be equitable to those provided for the home club.”
But after Warnock claimed that Stoke’s amenities for away teams were “a pigsty — in fact, pigs would have seen it and run away,” the issue was put to Mourinho ahead of Tottenham’s visit.
“Yes, I have a video of it,” he replied. “A video made from a colleague that works for another team that recently played against them.
“I was not going to raise the question. You raised that question. But it should not be a question for me. It should be a question for the authorities. All the authorities. Football authority. Safety authorities. But not for me.
“I am not going to be the bad guy that is going to make comments about Stoke’s away dressing room.”
Sources have told ESPN that several clubs had raised concerns about the conditions at Stoke since the season started and the EFL have worked closely with the club for some time to improve facilities.
Stoke confirmed to ESPN that they had always planned to upgrade their away dressing room and the new setup was used for the first time last weekend by Blackburn Rovers without complaint.
Spurs will be housed in a temporary structure adjacent to the players’ compound at the stadium which is full insulated with a heating system.
Tottenham have lost their last two matches to drop to fourth in the Premier League but Mourinho said he is not concerned about any negative momentum.
“It has nothing to do with the match we lost or the match we have to play against Wolves next weekend,” he added.
“It is isolated. It is a Cup game. It is a game to go to the semi-finals or watch the semi-finals on TV. We have to go with a positive attitude and try to win.”