“I would love to fight for the Carabao Cup but I don’t think I can.”
Jose Mourinho made a staggering admission ahead of Tottenham’s draw against Chelsea on Tuesday, hitting the EFL for not giving his side a fighting chance.
Spurs host former Mourinho club Chelsea in the Carabao Cup fourth round on Tuesday, a game you can stream live on talkSPORT, kicking off at 7.45pm.
They then play their last qualifying match for the Europa League at home against Maccabi Haifa 48 hours later.
The eventful week ends with a trip to Mourinho’s last club, Manchester United, for a Premier League clash on Sunday.
All three games come following a home draw against Newcastle on Sunday in which Spurs conceded a contentious extra time penalty – Mourinho refusing to criticize the new handball law or the use of VAR after the game .
But he protested that they were forced to play their Carabao Cup fourth round match between League and Europe commitments and suggested that the added financial value of participating in the group stages of the Europa League had to take precedence.
“I would like to fight for the Carabao (Cup) but I don’t think I can,” he said.
“We have a game on Thursday that doesn’t bring us as much money as the Champions League, but the Europa League group stage gives us a certain amount which, for a club like us, is very important.
“It’s a competition with a possible group stage that gives us a good chance of moving on to the next knockout stage, so this Thursday game is very important for us.
“I think you can imagine that with a game on Thursday that decides a very important thing for us, I think the EFL made a decision for us.
“They didn’t even create a problem – they made a decision for us. So that’s the decision.
Spurs lost Son Heung-min due to a hamstring injury at half-time against Newcastle.
The South Korean striker had already hit the woodwork twice after scoring four goals in the previous Premier League outing at Southampton.
But Mourinho believes Son’s setback will be the first in a list of injury issues his side will have to overcome due to his team’s congestion.
When asked if playing a Chelsea side that had to fight three goals to draw West Brom on Saturday gave Tottenham a good chance to advance in the Carabao Cup, the Portuguese replied: ‘Are you kidding or you are serious?
“Chelsea played on Saturday, they have Sunday and Monday (off) then they play Tuesday and then they play again at the weekend.
“So their fantastic team, if the manager decides not to turn, he can play perfectly with the players he wants.
“As you know and forgetting last Thursday we played on Sunday, now we play Tuesday, we play Thursday, we play Sunday again.
“And I think Sonny was just the first. More (injuries) will come. His was the first, but more will come.