January 4, 2018 / 6:08 AM / 4 months ago

Soccer: No fixture scheduling complaints from Spurs boss Pochettino

(Reuters) - Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino has refused to complain about their congested fixture list, saying it allows him to test his squad depth heading into the second half of the campaign.

Soccer Football - Premier League - Burnley vs Tottenham Hotspur - Turf Moor, Burnley, Britain - December 23, 2017 Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino after the match Action Images via Reuters/Paul Childs/Files

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola said earlier this week that playing every two days was risking his players’ health.

Spurs host West Ham United in the Premier League on Thursday, 48 hours after they beat Swansea City 2-0 at on a heavy Liberty Stadium surface.

Speaking ahead of the London derby at Wembley, Pochettino said: “It will be difficult for the players, but I am not going to complain.

“We are going to rest 48 hours until this fixture. We are maybe going to rotate and make some changes to bring some fresh legs to the team.

“This is an opportunity to play with the squad - and that is important.”

Spurs were initially scheduled to face West Ham on New Year’s Eve but the decision was taken to postpone the fixture due to safety concerns.

“I know very well how is this business and it was impossible to play before,” Pochettino added.

“Some teams play after Boxing Day, but I think we are going to arrive in the same condition as West Ham.”

Tottenham were knocked out of the League Cup by West Ham in October, with Pochettino’s side losing 3-2 after being 2-0 up at the interval.

“This game is not (about) revenge,” Pochettino said.

“Now it’s the Premier League and we need to win because we fight to be in the top four and higher in the table.”

Striker Harry Kane is set to return to the Spurs starting lineup after dropping to the bench at Swansea due to illness but left-back Danny Rose is expected to be on the sidelines because of a recurring knee injury.

Spurs, currently fifth in the league table with 40 points, have a game in hand over fourth-placed Liverpool, who are four points head.

Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; editing by Amlan Chakraborty

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