Tottenham Hotspur manager Jose Mourinho has admitted he does not think he will be able to challenge for the Carabao Cup this season.
Spurs face Chelsea in the fourth round of the competition on Tuesday, then host Israeli side Maccabi Haifa in their final Europa League qualifier 48 hours later.
Jose Mourinho Bemoans Packed Schedule as Carabao Cup Forced Down List of Priorities
Spurs enter a hectic week on the back of a disappointing and frustrating 1-1 draw against Newcastle United. While the match has been marred by a controversial decision to award a penalty to Newcastle in stoppage time, Spurs lost in-form attacker Son Heung-min to injury.
With the Korean unavailable and talisman Harry Kane completing the full 90 minutes against the Magpies, Mourinho faces a decision of having to prioritise the Carabao Cup or Europa League. Should Spurs qualify for the Europa League group stage, the club will net £15 million toward improving the current squad.
Mourinho believes he will have to sacrifice the Carabao Cup fixture against Chelsea in favour of Europa League football.
“I would like to fight for the Carabao [Cup] but I don’t think I can”, Mourinho told the Evening Standard.
“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.
“It’s a competition with a possible group phase that gives us a good chance to go through to the knockout stage, so this game on Thursday is very important for us.”
Bracing for More Injuries
Following the draw against Newcastle United, Mourinho told football.london the reason behind Son’s half-time withdrawal was due to a hamstring injury. The Portuguese added the Korean could be out for quite some time with an official scan scheduled this week.
As Spurs gear up for a crucial week, Mourinho has thrown caution to the wind. The Portuguese warned Son’s injury could be the first of many in a busy schedule.
“As you know and forgetting the past Thursday, we played on the Sunday, now we play on the Tuesday, we play on the Thursday, we play on the Sunday again,” Mourinho said.
“I think Sonny was just the first [injury]. More will come. So he was the first, but more will come.”
When quizzed about rotating his squad, Mourinho didn’t hesitate to express his feelings behind the upcoming schedule.
“Apart from Sonny, everybody is in contention but I think you can imagine that with a game on Thursday that decides a very important thing for us, I think the EFL made a decision for us. They didn’t even create a problem – they made a decision for us. So that’s the decision.
“We are going to [rotate the squad]. We know the consequences of it because not every player is the same. And not every player has the same group dynamic because we have clearly a spine and obviously you lose potential.”
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