Jose Mourinho says Tottenham’s demanding programme is a tough balancing act

The Portuguese says the wrong people are dictating the schedules and is concerned for his players’ welfare.

Jose Mourinho says the people who decide the fixture lists have "no idea"
Jose Mourinho says the people who decide the fixture lists have "no idea"

Jose Mourinho says the people who are deciding the fixture schedules have “no idea” as he described his Tottenham side’s run of games as worse than the Christmas period.

Spurs are in the midst of a possible nine games in 22 days as they pay the price for having to go through Europa League qualifying, which they have to juggle with the Premier League and Carabao Cup.

They were in Bulgaria on Thursday night as they beat Lokomotiv Plovdiv and are back in action at 12pm on Sunday with a trip to Southampton before embarking on two consecutive weeks of Tuesday-Thursday-Sunday games.

Mourinho believes the wrong people are dictating the schedules and is concerned for his players’ welfare.

“I don’t think it’s about people who make these decisions, it’s not about people not caring about players, I think it’s just the wrong people in the places,” he said.

“It’s not people who understand anything about football, they have no idea. I’m pretty sure that, in these committees, people who make these decisions (should be) football people, former coaches, former players.

“But I couldn’t believe that a decision at this level could be made.

“I’m concerned with their welfare, I’m concerned that injuries can happen.

“Everybody in every club is always concerned about the Christmas period and this is much more than the Christmas period, so when 20 clubs are concerned the accumulation of matches around the Christmas fixtures then imagine what we feel in this moment.

  • Sept 13 - Everton (H in Premier League)
  • Sept 17 - Plovdiv (A in Europa League)
  • Sept 20 - Southampton (A in PL)
  • Sept 22 - Leyton Orient (A in Carabao Cup)
  • Sept 24 - Shkendija (A in EL)
  • Sept 27 - Newcastle (H in PL)
  • Sept 29 - Possible Chelsea or Barnsley (H in CC)
  • Oct 1 - Possible EL play-off
  • Oct 3/4 - Man Utd (A in PL)

“So, yes, we are concerned.”

Despite those concerns, Mourinho does not feel he can afford to play a weakened team in any of the three competitions they are currently playing in.

“There is a risk of injuries and sometimes the risk of losing matches,” he added. “We try to find the balance. When we speak about rotation of players and give rest to players, if the squad is not a very balanced squad, you don’t have people of the same quality for the 11 positions on the pitch so we must try to find the balance between giving the chance to the team to win the next match and take care of the players’ health.

“If on Tuesday we go to Leyton Orient and go with a team which loses the match it would be very, very bad for Tottenham but at the same time if we go there, change 11 players then it’s a big risk for us and maybe we lose it. It’s a little bit of a tricky situation for us.

“There are some positions where we can balance, but others where it’s a little bit more difficult to do it.

“I always feel that the clubs that we play against, of course I’m not talking about the Premier League, but the other clubs that we face in the Europa League, that we face in the Carabao Cup, deserve the respect from us.

“It wouldn’t be nice for Plovdiv for us to come here and not to play with our best team. First of all, we would lose. And secondly, I think it would be a lack of respect. I don’t like to show that. It’s a very, very tricky situation. It demands a lot from the players.”

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