Mauricio Pochettino has called for the Premier League to give “more help” to teams playing in European competition, as Tottenham prepare to face Chelsea three days after a lengthy trip to Azerbaijan.
Spurs will play Qarabag away from home in Group J of the Europa League ahead of a midday kick-off against Chelsea at White Hart Lane on Sunday.
Pochettino questioned the fairness of his side having less time to recover from their European fixture than Chelsea, whose trip to Maccabi Tel-Aviv came five days before the London derby.
“To be fair, you need to compete in every competition with the same conditions as the opponent,” Pochettino told Sky Sports.
“I am not complaining. I only want to translate our feeling. I only want to bring attention to the conditions, that it’s not fair to have two days less recovery than the opponent.
“My question is: why not be attentive and careful to try to help the team who needs to compete in Europe? Why not play on the Monday, or 4pm on Sunday, instead of 12pm? It’s not much of a gap but in four hours you can rest a little bit more, you can sleep and recover after the long flight.”
“I think Jose Mourinho will agree that he has a little advantage to prepare for the game. But it’s not an excuse not to compete on Sunday and try to win the game.”
Spurs are enjoying a good run of form, having lost just once in their last 10 matches in all competitions, and a win over Chelsea could see Pochettino’s side break into the top four in the Premier League.
He added: “In the future, the Premier League needs to give us more help and be more careful for them. I think next season, maybe we need to be careful, with better communication, and get help from the Premier League when the team plays in the Europa League.
“In the end we need to accept it and not complain too much because in the beginning of the season I think we all agreed to give the purity for the matches to be shown on TV. But I think it’s more important to give attention to the teams that play in Europe.”