Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino insisted he would take no risks with his team selection for his side’s EFL Cup clash against West Ham.
Spurs make the trip to the London Stadium on Wednesday, just two days after their 1-0 Premier League loss to Manchester City.
While the EFL Cup shapes as arguably Tottenham’s best chance to win a first trophy since 2008, Pochettino said the welfare of his players was the priority.
“I can put out the same players with a risk that they become injured,” he said. “It is so difficult, it is not easy.
“We are going to assess all the players and it is less than 48 hours to compete again having had the circumstance of playing on a pitch that is so difficult to play on – it was tough and a very competitive game.
“We will see which players can repeat, some can be on the bench and some they need to rest.
“I think we are in a period in the season that is different to when Christmas arrives and when it is a normal season that you can prepare yourself to compete during 10 months.
“A lot of players didn’t have a pre-season, that is why it is so difficult. My feeling is that it is going to be difficult to repeat some players. I don’t believe too many players will be ready and fresh to play.”
— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) October 30, 2018
Pochettino said the encounter would represent a chance for players on the fringes of his squad to push their cases.
“We are going to use players that normally are not involved in the last few games and, of course, we are going to have the opportunity to see them and give the opportunity to play,” he said.
“It will be very competitive, it is a derby. Of course there are no excuses, no complaints and on Wednesday [we’ll be] ready again to compete and try to win.”
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