Mauricio Pochettino is unhappy at a fixture pile-up which he feels is threatening to ruin Tottenham’s appearance in the Capital One Cup final and believes Jose Mourinho would have already complained about the situation.
Spurs face Mourinho’s Chelsea at Wembley on March 1 in the first showpiece final of the year – but it will be their fourth game in under two weeks following a Premier League derby against West Ham and both legs of their Europa League tie with Fiorentina.
In contrast, Chelsea will go into the final having had seven days rest after a league fixture against Burnley and Pochettino feels his side have been given a rough deal.
“It is not fair to play a final on the Sunday after you play in another ‘final’ in Florence on the Thursday,” he said.
“Chelsea play Burnley on the Saturday and then they have a clean week to prepare for the final.
“It is not fair but then we have to understand this is the competition. We are in the Europa League, the Capital One final and the Premier League.
“We need to understand that that’s football. It is not the best situation, but we need to prepare every game like a final because we have important games in the mean time.
“It is no problem. We are strong. We believe in our way and will be sure to be ready for the final. Maybe if Chelsea were in my position now they would be complaining about the situation.
“We need to play a different game because we have a very tough game against Arsenal and then Fiorentina here, then West Ham and Florence after that. Then the final. It is football, we need to accept that and be ready for every game.”
Tottenham reached the final after a 2-2 draw at Sheffield United sealed a tight 3-2 aggregate victory over the League One side – but Pochettino is wary of his players losing focus on the games to come before their Wembley confrontation, starting with a tricky trip to West Brom on Saturday.
“We feel good to get to the final and it is a good moment for the club,” he said.
“But we need to stop thinking about the final because we need to be focused on the game tomorrow, it is a tough game against West Brom. We need to realise it is an important thing to get to the final against Chelsea.
“For us, the danger is how we take the game. We need to play our game and be focused and this is my worry.
“It is true that our worry now is to stop thinking about Wembley – we need to plan the strategy because we know for the club, supporters and players it is an important game – but we also need to be ready to play tomorrow and prepare for the next game.
“This is our challenge now. To keep the mentality and stay focused. The most important game is tomorrow. We need to keep fighting and this is the best way to keep our level and arrive in the best condition in the final.”
Tottenham are unlikely to be busy in the transfer window and Pochettino would not be drawn into any speculation linking the club with new recruits.
The Argentinian also said he does not envisage the likes of Aaron Lennon or Emmanuel Adebayor leaving White Hart Lane and, whilst he stopped short of confirming Spurs have opened contract negotiations with Harry Kane, Pochettino did say the England Under-21 striker’s future remains at the club.
“Every decision is announced by the club but I have no comment at the moment,” he added.
“I think that there is no doubt or question that Harry’s future is at Tottenham. I don’t worry about that and the supporters don’t need to be worried about that.”
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