Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino has been complaining about fixture arrangement ahead of his sides Champions League knockout clash with Borussia Dortmund at Wembley tonight.
The North London club head into their biggest game of the year up to now, but the club’s Argentine boss has called having to play a Premier League game three days before the round of 16 tie “unfair”, and believes his team should have been given more time between games.
Tottenham overcame Leicester City on Sunday, defeating the Foxes 3-1, while Borussia Dortmund drew 3-3 with Hoffenheim on Saturday, giving the North-Rhein Westphalia outfit an extra day’s rest ahead of Wednesday night’s match.
Pochettino said his team were going to “have a few days to rest and to recover” before the next game, which comes just three days later.
“It’s a little bit of a shame, as I explained before, to not be in the same situation or circumstances as Dortmund,” he said in his pre-match press conference.
“And things like, the example is Danny Rose. With one day more, maybe he can be available to play but to reduce the time in between both games, Sunday and Wednesday, is nearly impossible.
“We will see if he can be on the bench. But of course I am going to reward the players, whatever happens tomorrow, they deserve to be rewarded with some days off, to spend time with the family and of course to breathe a little bit and enjoy a little bit because the schedule of the fixtures for us was crazy up to today.”
The fixture pile-up has been a common complaint of Pochettino’s in recent months – tonight’s game will be there 11th of 2019 – but he says his Spurs side will come into the match in the right shape.
“I think the key now is you need to find your energy in your motivation, in your own motivation, and of course that extra charge is there, and I think we’re going to arrive in a very good condition,” he said.
“I’ve described before, or in the last few days, that it (the schedule) was a little bit unfair but that is not an excuse to arrive tomorrow in our best condition and fight to try to win. I think you can feel in the eyes of the players the energy. We were talking in the meeting before and it’s completely different.”