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Mourinho: Injury-hit Spurs need to be ‘very strong to cope with limitations’

Jose Mourinho

Tottenham Hotspur’s Portuguese head coach Jose Mourinho walks with Tottenham Hotspur’s Brazilian midfielder Lucas Moura after the UEFA Champions League football match between RB Leipzig and Tottenham Hotspur, in Leipzig, eastern Germany on March 10, 2020. (Photo by John MACDOUGALL / AFP) (Photo by JOHN MACDOUGALL/AFP via Getty Images)

AFP via Getty Images

Jose Mourinho is taking the simplest approach to Tottenham Hotspur’s Champions League exit.

Spurs were rolled over by RB Leipzig in the second leg of their Round of 16 tie on Tuesday, falling 3-0 on the day and 4-0 on aggregate without Harry Kane, Heung-min Son, and Steven Bergwijn.

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Mourinho said things were going to have go nearly perfect for Spurs to overcome the 1-0 first leg deficit without those key pieces.

Spurs were not close to their best, and they were punished.

“There is nobody to blame when it looks like in every match we have a traumatic injury that ends with months and months,” he said on television after the match. “That’s the history of this season. It started with problems and you look at when I arrived our position at the table. The negative history starts with the first injury and look to our bench and look to our pitch with Tanganga with his first (Champions League) match and Sessegnon his second match. It’s very, very hard.”

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Mourinho said he’s confident his team will be much better when healthy next season, adding Kane, Son, Bergwijn and Moussa Sissoko to the fold.

That doesn’t help much ahead of a huge weekend tilt with Manchester United. Spurs will have two more days rest than the Red Devils, but can fall seven points back of the top five with a loss on Sunday at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

“With the squad we have it’s going to be very difficult if we have the same squad we had today tomorrow,” he said in his post-match press conference, via Football.London. “We have games ahead and we have to fight. We are going to fight and the players need to be very strong to cope with the limitations we have. We are not going to recover any players before Sunday.”

That’s an awful lot of foreshadowing from Mourinho, who would do well to strike a more positive pose for his players and fans ahead of a reunion with old pals Manchester United.