Tottenham full-back Danny Rose believes diligent work masterminded by coach Mauricio Pochettino is behind the club’s impressive form heading into the Europa League trip to Qarabag.
A resounding 4-1 derby victory over West Ham on Sunday made it four wins from five unbeaten matches since Spurs lost 2-1 in Anderlecht last month.
That result was avenged via a victory by the same scoreline at White Hart Lane earlier this month and Rose has credited Pochettino with ensuring the team’s momentum was not interrupted by the recent international break.
While Premier League rivals Arsenal and Manchester City suffered damaging defeats at the weekend, Tottenham extended an unbeaten league run that began after a loss at Manchester United on the opening day of the season.
“We’ve seen some teams come back from the international break and not manage to pick up wins – the likes of Arsenal and Manchester City – but we did very well,” Rose told Tottenham’s official website.
“We’ve had a great week in training where the head coach has given us the best platform to be ready and we’ve shown that out on the pitch.
“We created a lot of chances [against West Ham], we looked solid and we’ve given ourselves a great platform leading into the Chelsea game next weekend, as well as Qarabag on Thursday night.”
The prospect of another London derby against Chelsea on Sunday following a round trip of just under 4,000 kilometres to Azerbaijan and back – the six-hour flight marking Tottenham’s longest journey for a competitive match in their history – has prompted Pochettino to voice further discontent with his club’s heavy fixture schedule.
As such, he is expected to rotate his line-up, although recent England newcomer midfielder Dele Alli could remain in the starting XI.
Alli collected his fifth Premier League booking of the season against West Ham and will miss the visit of Chelsea through suspension.
Andros Townsend could return to first-team action after he and Pochettino made peace over a row between the winger and a Tottenham fitness coach, while Nabil Bentaleb is hoping to return from an ankle injury sustained while away with Algeria.
Similar complaints are set to deprive the hosts of Samuel Armenteros and Alharbi El Jadeyaoui, while Reynaldo (shoulder) is out and Rashad Sadygov must shake off a knock.
Richard Almeida gave Qarabag a seventh-minute lead from the penalty spot when the teams met at White Hart Lane, before a Son Heung-min double on his home debut helped Tottenham to dispatch their opponents 3-1.
Qarabag have proved to be a different proposition at the Tofig Bahramov Stadium, where they are unbeaten in five European home matches this season, winning two.
Ivan Cavaleiro’s equaliser to seal a 1-1 draw for Monaco in the previous matchweek was the first Europa League goal Gurban Gurbanov’s team have conceded on their own patch this term.
Tottenham will progress to the knockout stages with victory, although they are without a win in their past four away European matches, losing three.