Jose Mourinho has called on his players to give their all to navigate the unprecedented level of fixture congestion that Tottenham face over the next two weeks.
After a hard-fought win in Bulgaria against Lokomotiv Plovdiv on Thursday, Tottenham face the difficult prospect of a trip to St Mary’s today where they will come up against Ralph Hasenhuttl’s high-energy Southampton side, who will be looking to bounce back from their poor start to their season.
Playing in quick succession is something Mourinho’s men will have to get used to as they play seven times over the next fourteen days.
The Spurs boss admitted that it is a difficult situation to manage, particularly considering that a loss at this stage of the season can be extremely costly.
Speaking after his side’s 2-1 win in Bulgaria, he told Football.London: “I’m concerned with their welfare, I’m concerned that injuries can happen.
“Everybody in every club is always concerned about the Christmas period and this is much more than the Christmas period so when 20 clubs are concerned about the accumulation of matches around the Christmas fixtures then imagine what we feel in this moment.
“So, yes, we are concerned, but imagine that I come here [to Bulgaria] and play with this team then we would lose and we would be out of the Europa League. So it’s very, very tricky to manage this situation.”
Mourinho admitted that some of his players needed to make some sacrifices for the team to get through the next couple of weeks with their ambitions intact.
He added: “There are some positions where we can balance, there are some positions, but others where it’s a little bit more difficult to do it.
“I always feel that the clubs that we play against, of course I’m not talking about the Premier League, but the other clubs that we face in the Europa League, that we face in the Carabao Cup, they deserve the respect from us.
“It wouldn’t be nice for Plovdiv for us to come and not to play with out best team. First of all, we would lose, and secondly, I think it would be a lack of respect that I don’t like to show.
“It’s a very, very tricky situation. It demands a lot from the players. We flew here, we go back now, we don’t go home, everybody stays in the club, on Friday we start our recovery and it will be like this for that for days and days and it means sacrifices from everybody to go over this fixture period.”
Spurs Web Opinion
It looks like Bale is not going to be fit in time to help us navigate this spell but the addition of Reguilon should help. Kane cannot be expected to play every one of these matches, especially since he has had no pre-season. So, we could really do with finalising a deal for a striker soon, rather than waiting until deadline day.
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