‘I would like to fight but I don’t think I can’: Jose Mourinho says he has to GIVE UP on the Carabao Cup because of Tottenham’s gruelling fixture schedule as he turns focus to more lucrative Europa League tie
Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho says he has all but given up on the Carabao Cup because of their gruelling fixture schedule. Spurs face rivals Chelsea in the fourth round on Tuesday night – their third game in a run of five matches in 11 days.
Mourinho insists the EFL have given him no choice but to make wholesale changes because Spurs must prioritise Thursday’s clash with Maccabi Haifa in the more lucrative Europa League.
‘I would like to fight for the Carabao but I don’t think I can,’ he said. ‘We have a game on Thursday that gives us not as much money as the Champions League but the group phase of the Europa League gives us a certain amount that for a club like us is very important.
Jose Mourinho has admitted he will have to prioritise the Europa League over the Carabao Cup
‘It’s a competition with a possible group phase that gives us a good chance to go through to the next knockout stage so this game on Thursday is very important for us.’
On the prospect of rotating his squad, Mourinho added: ‘You can imagine that with a game on Thursday that decides a very important thing for us, I think the EFL made the decision for us. They didn’t even create us a problem, they made the decision for us.’
Mourinho was full of praise for his side’s performance against Newcastle on Sunday – despite a controversial handball decision costing his side victory in stoppage time.
Tottenham face Chelsea on Tuesday – just two days after Premier League game with Newcastle
Chelsea, meanwhile, had to come from 3-0 down to rescue a point at newly-promoted West Brom. But Mourinho didn’t take kindly to the suggestion that his side stood a good chance of victory on Tuesday night.
‘Are you joking or serious?’ he said. ‘Chelsea played on Saturday, they have Sunday and Monday. Then they played Tuesday and then they play again on the weekend. So (with) their fantastic squad – if the manager (Frank Lampard) decides not to rotate, he can perfectly play with the players that he wants.’
Spurs will be without Son Heung-min who injured his hamstring against Newcastle and Mourinho expects ‘more (injuries) will come’. He said everyone else is in contention to play – even Dele Alli, who has been left out of his last two Premier League squads.
Tottenham star Son Heung-min won’t play any part after picking up an injury in Sunday’s draw
Tottenham reached the fourth round courtesy of a bye following a mass coronavirus outbreak at previous opponents Leyton Orient.
The League Two side wanted the lucrative tie re-arranged, only for the EFL to eliminate them from the competition.
‘I think (Orient) have to be very, very upset. I think they have to, I have total sympathy for them,’ Mourinho said. ‘I don’t think they did anything wrong – they were tested, I think they deserve to play against us, no doubt about it.’