Jose Mourinho admitted that Tottenham are “really in trouble” as their thin squad looks to keep balancing three competitions.
After the first leg of their Champions League Round of 16 tie with RB Leipzig ended in a 1-0 defeat, Mourinho vented his frustrations at the workload facing his players in the coming weeks.
Things improved for Spurs after Mourinho made a double substitution halfway through the second half, but he denied that the performance before that was not the best his side were capable of.
“What do you mean by the real Spurs? Come on, let’s be loyal to the boys and tell them they did everything they could do,” Mourinho began in a rant to BT Sport.
“[Substitute Erik] Lamela – you know how many training sessions with the team? Zero. Direct from injury to recovery with physios and then direct to 20 minutes in the Champions League.
“That is our team. You can look at it and you see the two perspectives.
“One perspective is an amazing group with amazing guys that try everything, by another side you see how we are in this moment. You look to the other guys, they play with [Patrik] Schick, with [Timo] Werner, [Christopher] Nkunku.
“Nkunku is tired, come out, in comes [Emil] Forsberg. Schick is tired, in comes [Yussuf] Poulsen and this is our situation, it’s like to go to a fight without bullets.
“So we did what we could do and I think if we scored before them, the game would be different. You can tell me we had luck in some moments, I disagree. We had a great goalkeeper that made two magnificent saves and that is not luck, that is an amazing goalkeeper.
“Their goalkeeper also made a couple of fantastic saves, we had our chances, and we tried everything we could. I thank the fans for their support to the boys.
“I’m not worried with the 1-0 – we can go there and win. What worries me is that these are our players for the next however many matches.
“Moura was absolutely dead, Bergwijn was absolutely dead, Lo Celso was absolutely dead.
“We are really in trouble. If it was just this game I’d say no problem but we have FA Cup and Premier League games.
“I know Lamela could only give us 20 minutes and I knew Ndombele could not play for 90 minutes. I tried to manage the pieces I had.
“Don’t tell me Lamela and Ndombele could have started the game, they couldn’t have started the game.
“Here we go Chelsea [who they play next on Saturday lunchtime] drinking sparkling water with lemon. Saturday morning – thank you very much for the choice.”