‘We are very limited’ – Pochettino on team selection ahead of Champions League semi

Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Dom Le Roy

Tottenham have had to cope with several injuries this season, none more consequential than the ankle injuries suffered by their talisman Harry Kane.

Spurs had to cope without Kane for the first leg of the Champions League round of 16 tie against Dortmund as well as for the second leg of the quarterfinals against Man City, with Son Heung-Min coming up with the goals in the absence of the England captain.

Now, the Lilywhites will be missing both Kane and Son for the first leg of the semi-finals against Ajax as the South Korean is suspended for the match.

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino has insisted that he is confident going into the game as the team has demonstrated so far that they are capable of coping without important players.

Speaking to Football.London, the Argentine said, “The point is that we arrive where we are now because we were a team and we’re going to be a team. We don’t care who is going to score.

“Of course always it is an issue when you don’t have all players fit. But how we arrive here is because we were competing very well, always in front of any name was the team, a collective.

“That’s why we are here, because all season in this competition, you can see with one or another, some names, players out some in, we always compete and we are here today.

“That’s why we are not worried. That is the feeling we have. We are very competitive like a team. Our strength is that we think like this. That is most important.

However, the Spurs manager rubbished suggestions that Tottenham are somehow a better team without Kane since the other players step up in his absence.

The 47-year-old added, “No, I think it’s a coincidence that sometimes happens. When we have all players fit we are better, stronger.

“The possibility to pick different options is the best thing for any manager, to have possibilities to play one player or another.

“It’s a coincidence, you can manipulate all the stats but Harry Kane is one of the best and we will miss him.

“It’s a situation that you cannot give to the players better options, different options or to play in a different way. You need to find solutions. We are very limited but with the confidence always high.”

Spurs Web’s take:

While Tottenham have the players to hurt Ajax going forward, there is no doubt that their attacking threat will be diminished without their two most prolific goalscorers in Kane and Son. Spurs will be hoping Lucas Moura continues coming up with the goods in front of goal and that Fernando Llorente continues his rich vein of form in the competition. Tottenham will likely have to play a little differently to utilise Llorente’s prowess in the air, and Moura’s speed in behind. It almost reminds me of the Peter Crouch days, alongside Defoe or Van der Vaart.

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