Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 31 May 2020

Jose Mourinho's Tottenham face three games in seven days - and the boss is not happy

Pivotal period for Spurs kicks off at Aston Villa on Sunday

Tottenham Hotspur manager Jose Mourinho prepares for a busy week. PA 
Tottenham Hotspur manager Jose Mourinho prepares for a busy week. PA 

Jose Mourinho admitted Tottenham face a "hard week" as they head to Aston Villa on Sunday in the first of three games in seven days that could determine their season.

Mourinho has moaned widely about the scheduling over Sunday's game considering they are in Champions League action against RB Leipzig on Wednesday and then face a massive test in their pursuit of the Premier League top four by visiting Chelsea on Saturday lunchtime

But the trip to the second city is Mourinho's primary concern.

"If you ask me if it's the perfect situation, I say no. The perfect situation would be for us to play against Villa tonight or tomorrow early, have three or four days before Leipzig.

"In fact Leipzig plays tomorrow afternoon so it's not the perfect situation for us to play on Sunday, but since 2004 I'm in this country I know how it works and I know we have no protection at all before the Champions League matches.

"It's a very difficult week for us, and then of course we would like to play Chelsea on the Sunday after Leipzig, but not on Saturday. And we would like to play Saturday 5pm, but instead we play 12 o'clock.

"So it's a really hard week for us - Sunday Villa, Wednesday Leipzig, Saturday Chelsea.

"Always difficult Villa Park. Villa are a good team, fighting to stay in the division, self-esteem really high after reaching the Wembley final.

"Very difficult match, we have to go with all the potential we have, forgetting that two days after we play Leipzig."

With such a big week coming up, Mourinho said he may rotate his sides, even though they are fresh from a 10-day midwinter break.

"Some positions we can, some we cannot. That is the basic thing," he said.

"They are not coming from a period of fatigue, but when you arrive on the third match of the week with only two days in between and on Saturday they cannot even sleep, they have to wake up at 8 o'clock to go to Stamford Bridge and play.

"For the third match we have to be careful and maybe will have to do a little bit of rotation in between the matches.

"But in this moment we are focused on Villa, it is difficult enough for us to be sharing our concentration with other matches. Let's go for Villa."

Mourinho was asked about Dele Alli's social media message mocking the coronavirus outbreak in China, a post the midfielder quickly deleted and apologised for but which could still land him in trouble with the Football Association.

"Of course I spoke with him about that," Mourinho said. "But for me it was a quite easy conversation, because he was very sorry about that thing... a mistake. It was never his intention to hurt, it was never his intention to offend.

"He immediately regretted and realised. It was a young guy mistake, a young generation mistake. It was not a case of me being unhappy and him not understanding why I was unhappy. He regrets and that's the best he can show. And I think to apologise is remarkable."

Updated: February 15, 2020 02:40 PM

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