Mourinho to focus on Europa League, rather than League Cup

RESENDING WITH COMPLETE SHOTLIST AND SCRIPT

VIDEO SHOWS: SOUNDBITES FROM TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR MANAGER JOSE MOURINHO SPEAKING ABOUT FIXTURE PILE UP AND NOT BEING ABLE TO FIELD A STRONG TEAM IN THE CARABAO CUP

SHOWS: LONDON, ENGLAND, UK (SEPTEMBER 27, 2020) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL)

1. (SOUNDBITE) (English) TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR MANAGER, JOSE MOURINHO, ON IF HE PLANS TO ROTATE HIS SQUAD ESPECIALLY GIVEN SON HEUNG-MIN'S INJURY, SAYING:

REPORTER: "Hi Jose, I think is it fair to say that Son is therefore a doubt for Chelsea and also, with two midweek games, it's quite unprecedented, are you planning to play Harry Kane in all three, given that he played ninety minutes today?"

MOURINHO: "What you do in my position?"

REPORTER: "That's a big question. I'm not the boss, sadly."

MOURINHO: "I know. I know, I know my friends. I would like to fight for the for Carabao [Cup], but I don't think I can. We have a game on Thursday (October 1) that give us, not as much money as Champions League, but the group phase of Europa League give us a certain amount that for a club like us is very important. It's a competition with a possible group phase that give us a good chance to go through to the next knockout stage, so this game on Thursday is very important for us."

2. WHITE FLASH

3. (SOUNDBITE) (English) TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR MANAGER, JOSE MOURINHO, ON TOO MANY FIXTURES LEADING TO MORE INJURIES, SAYING:

"As you know, and forgetting the past Thursday, we played on a Sunday, now we play on a Tuesday, we play on a Thursday and we will play on a Sunday again. And I think Sonny was just the first [player to get injured]. More will come. Son was the first, but more will come."

4. WHITE FLASH

5. (SOUNDBITE) (English) TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR MANAGER, JOSE MOURINHO, ON IF HE PLANS TO ROTATE HIS SQUAD FOR THE MATCH, SAYING:

"But if you do that [rotate your team], and we are doing to do that, we know the consequences of it, because not every player is the same and not every player has the same group dynamic, because we have clearly a spine and obviously, that you lose potential."

6. WHITE FLASH

7. (SOUNDBITE) (English) TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR MANAGER, JOSE MOURINHO, SAYING ON GAME AGAINST LEYTON ORIENT IN PREVIOUS ROUND WHICH SPURS WERE AWARDED AS A WALKOVER:

"I think they have to be very, very upset. I think they have to. I have total sympathy for them. I don't think they did anything wrong. They were tested. I think they deserved to play against us."

STORY: Tottenham Hotspur manager Jose Mourinho says he will have to focus on the Europa League rather than the Carabao Cup because of his side's congested fixture schedule.

Spurs are due to face Chelsea on Tuesday (September 29), before taking on Israel's Maccabi Haifa in the final round of Europa League qualifying on Thursday (October 1).

Those two games are sandwiched between Spurs' weekend Premier League commitments - a 1-1 draw with Newcastle on Sunday (September 27), and then a trip to Manchester United this Sunday (October 4).

With the games coming quickly, Mourinho told reporters after the draw with Newcastle that the Europa League offered Spurs better financial incentives. He also said there was a danger that players could get burnt out - or injured - citing the example of striker Son Heung-Min, who was taken off injured at half time.

(Production: Stef Haskins and Iain Axon)

Video Transcript

REPORTER: Hi, Jose. I think, is it fair to say that Son is therefore a doubt for Chelsea and also, with two midweek games, is quite unprecedented, are you planning to play Harry Kane in all three, given that he played 90 minutes today?

JOSE MOURINHO: What you do in my position?

REPORTER: That's a big question. I'm not the boss, sadly.

JOSE MOURINHO: I know. I know, I know, my friends. I would like to fight for the Carabao, but I don't think I can. We have a game-- we have a game on Thursday that give us, not as much money as Champions League, but the group phase of Europa League give us a certain amount that for a club like us is very important.

It's a competition with a possible group phase that give us a good chance to go through to the next-- to the next knockout stage. So this game on Thursday is very important for us.

As you know, and forgetting the past Thursday, we played on the Sunday, now we play on a Tuesday, we play on a Thursday, and we will play on a Sunday again. And I think Sonny was just the first. More will come. Son was the first, but more will come.

But if you do that, and we are going to do that, we know the consequences of it, because not every player is the-- not every player is the same and not every player has the same group dynamic, because we have a clearly a spine and obviously, that you lose potential.

I think they have to be very, very upset. I think they have to. I have total sympathy for them. I don't think they did anything wrong. They were tested. I think they deserve to play against us.