Football

We are forced to sacrifice League Cup: Tottenham coach Jose Mourinho

Tottenham Hotspur manager Jose Mourinho believes their packed fixture schedule will force them to prioritise the more lucrative Europa League over the League Cup in a bid to avoid further injuries in the squad.

Spurs host Chelsea tomorrow morning (Singapore time) in the League Cup fourth round, two days before Maccabi Haifa's visit to north London for a Europa League play-off match.

Mourinho said the English Football League "made the decision" for him and he had no option but to rotate the squad for the London Derby, after forward Son Heung-min suffered a hamstring injury in the 1-1 league draw with Newcastle United on Sunday.

"Sonny was just the first, more will come," Mourinho said.

"I would like to fight for the League Cup, but I don't think I can," he added, before explaining that the financial value of reaching the Europa League group stage meant that competition had to take precedence.

Asked if playing a Chelsea side who had drawn at West Bromwich Albion on Saturday gave Spurs a good chance of progressing in the League Cup, the Portuguese replied: "You're joking or you're serious? Chelsea played Saturday, they have Sunday and Monday (off) then they play Tuesday and then they play again on the weekend.

"So if the manager decides not to rotate, he can perfectly play with the players that he wants." - REUTERS, AFP

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