Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho has warned that it is “very difficult” to manage his sizeable squad and has hinted that the club could sanction several exits.
Mourinho spoke about the concerns after being pressed on Dele Alli’s future at Spurs. The England international, who has been linked with a move away, was one of eight players not part of Spurs’ squad on Thursday.
The north London club edged past nine-men Lokomotiv Plovdiv to advance in Europa League qualifying.
Mourinho said (via The Guardian): “You ask me about Dele – you could ask me about the other seven players we left behind.
“To be honest I don’t like the number of players I have in my squad. It is very, very difficult to manage in every aspect of my job. Very difficult to manage this situation, too many players.”
Tottenham’s overcrowded squad could in fact be a benefit to Mourinho this month. Spurs face four fixtures in the coming week, starting with Sunday’s clash against Southampton.
A trip to Leyton Orient in the Carabao Cup follows on Tuesday, after their win over Portsmouth, before Europa League third qualifying round action looms on Thursday.
Tottenham then finish the month by playing Newcastle in north London on September 27.
Mourinho, though, hit back at the Premier League’s decision to revert back to seven substitutes, instead of the nine allowed after the coronavirus lockdown.
He said: “I think it’s another brilliant decision to only have seven players on the bench, the only country with that.
“It is a big limitation for coaches. I also think [having nine players] could give us more chance to rest more players to manage the situation.”
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Mourinho also spoke of his admiration for Spurs target Danny Ings. Tottenham were unsuccessful with an enquiry about the Southampton striker on Thursday.
Indeed, the Englishman will face off against Mourinho’s side on Sunday.
“Ings is a threat. He is a player that scores a lot of goals and every time he plays against us he gives us a lot of problems,” Mourinho said.
“He is a player we have to respect.”
Mourinho has made clear his desire to sign a new striker before the transfer window closes. Several names, including Eintracht Frankfurt’s Bas Dost, have been touted to arrive.
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Meanwhile, the Spurs boss also joked at his relief that Orient beat Portsmouth in Tuesday’s Carabao Cup tie.
Tottenham now face a trip across London, as opposed to travelling to the South West of England.
“This is a joke, a total joke, but here we go. We are very lucky that Leyton Orient beat Plymouth, because Plymouth would be very, very far for us,” Mourinho said.
“It is dramatic but I prefer this drama and to be in the competition.”