Mauricio Pochettino admits that he is upset that Tottenham Hotspur have 24 hours less to recover from this weekend’s exertions compared to Borussia Dortmund.
Wembley will host the first leg of the round of sixteen tie between Spurs and their German opposition, who played their Bundesliga match on Saturday.
The Spurs boss insisted that he will not use the lack of recovery time as an excuse for his players, but is disappointed at the fact that his side are playing with a massive disadvantage.
Speaking earlier this week, he was whether he had enquired about playing the league match against Leicester a day earlier, with the first leg of their last-16 tie to come in midweek, Pochettino said to the BBC: “No, because I’m not in charge.”
Pochettino described his players as heroes for how they have been coping with the demands of playing so regularly with the likes of Harry Kane and Dele Alli still sidelined through injury.
He told Football.London: “Yes, of course. I was telling your colleague before about how upset I am. I feel so embarrassed because I can accept to play today if Dortmund play today and then we play Wednesday, but I cannot understand why we’re playing with a massive disadvantage. Twenty-four hours in this type of competition, the last 16, is a massive disadvantage. It doesn’t mean that we’re not going to compete. For me, I’m going to stop describing the real situation, but I think there is no sense. It is so difficult to understand why, when we had one week clear to play this game and to schedule it on a different day, and only I am explaining my feelings and how difficult it is to prepare a game when you only have today and then you’re going to need to play. Then in different things we came from a very tough period.
“In England it’s a busy period at Christmas. It’s January when clubs in Germany, Spain or Italy enjoy some holidays and rest. That is why if you can be in a similar level, you need to play with the same situation. That is why I feel so disappointed. I don’t it to be an excuse. I’m not going to explain any more. I think today is going to be the last time I complain and I hope that you describe and send the right message, not Pochettino is crying. Only describe the situation. I think you understand very well my feelings and the feelings of the staff and players too. But you know that doesn’t mean we are going to play in a different way. We believe that we can win and beat them. We believe that we are going to give our best and be competitive and arrive in our best form. But of course I need to describe the situation, if not who backs us?
“During this season we are fighting a lot of circumstances this season and that is one more. Remember when we played Manchester City on a Monday and played West Ham at the London Stadium in the Carabao Cup on Wednesday. We played Monday evening and Wednesday evening. People talk about this squad but my players are heroes. What happens at the end of the season, they are going to be remembered, if we win some title, in the history but if not in the history too because all of the circumstances against how we are fighting and showing character is amazing.”
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