Fulham keeper Marcus Bettinelli endured a nightmare return home from England duty as bad weather forced the team’s flight to be redirected to Manchester – meaning the keeper face a long trip back to Fulham.
The number one was called up to the squad once again by Gareth Southgate but has yet to win his first cap for his country having not featured in either game against Croatia and Spain during this international break.
England usually fly back to Birmingham, with the Midlands seen as the middle ground for the players in the north and south, but bad weather in the early hours of Tuesday morning meant that they were redirected to Manchester, leaving Bettinelli and the other southern based players with a far longer journey home.
Other players who were on international duty this weekend, such as Kevin McDonald, have already returned to Motspur Park to start their preparations for Saturday’s crucial tie with Cardiff City, but Slavisa Jokanovic will be without a number of his stars until today.
That includes Bettinell while Floyd Ayite, Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa, Cyrus Christie, Ibrahima Cisse, Stefan Johansen and Jean-Michael Seri all on international duty yesterday evening.
Having a number of key players away at such a crucial period will not have helped Jokanovic prepare for what is a must-win game at the Cardiff City Stadium as Fulham look for a second win of the season – something that will put seven points between them and Neil Warnock’s team at the foot of the table.
Fulham still have injury concerns too – with Joe Bryan, Timothy Fosu-Mensah and Tom Cairney all nursing injuries.