Tottenham playing RB Leipzig in Wednesday’s 1-0 loss was like “going to fight with a gun without bullets”, says Jose Mourinho as he bemoaned the recent injuries to key players.
Spurs were without potent forward duo Harry Kane and Son Heung-min, and neither substitute Erik Lamela and Tanguy Ndombele was fully fit.
“We are really in trouble,” he said.
“If it was just this game I’d say no problem but we have FA Cup and Premier League games.”
Mourinho was interviewed by BT Sport’s Des Kelly who he sarcastically thanked, referring to the scheduling of Spurs’ next match – against Chelsea on Saturday at 12:30 GMT, which is being shown by the broadcasters.
The London club then play Wolves, Norwich in the cup and Burnley before the return leg in Germany on 10 March.
Tottenham were outplayed by Leipzig, whose goal was scored by Timo Werner, although they improved after Dele Alli and Gedson Fernandes were replaced by Lamela and Ndombele.
Asked whether “the real Spurs” came to life after those changes, the Portuguese boss said: “What do you mean by ‘the real Spurs’?
“Lamela. You know how many training sessions with the team? Zero. Direct from injury to recovery with physios and then direct to 20 minutes in the Champions League.
“I knew Lamela could only give us 20 minutes and I knew Ndombele could not play for 90 minutes. I tried to manage the pieces I had.
“Lucas Moura was absolutely dead, Steven Bergwijn was absolutely dead and Giovani lo Celso was absolutely dead.”
He added: “I’m not worried with the 1-0 – we can go there and win. What worries me is that these are our players for the next however many matches.”
Mourinho also gave his view on Alli throwing a water-bottle down in response to being substituted.
“I think he was angry with his performance,” added the Spurs boss. “Not with me. I think he understands why I took him off and the team improved.”
‘They have Troy Parrott – you have to play him’ – pundits reaction
Former Tottenham winger Chris Waddle, working for BBC Radio 5 Live, said Mourinho had the opportunity to include 18-year-old Troy Parrott in the squad.
The Irish striker has impressed for the youth team since joining the club in 2017, and has already played twice for the first team this season.
“You are obviously going to miss the quality of Kane and Son, but to be honest I can only think of one chance where you think that they could have scored that,” said Waddle.
“They say they have no strikers but they do, they have Troy Parrott – you have to play him. He’s not even on the bench tonight. You can say he is not ready but how do you know? If you have a centre-forward, you play him.”
Former England goalkeeper added Rob Green added: “Historically Mourinho does not play kids – that is not his thing. You prepare for a season and things go wrong. You have started the season with one number nine, you are getting into the last 16 of the Champions League and you have not got a centre-forward – it is criminal.”
How you reacted
Trevor Durham: It just makes no sense whatsoever for Troy Parrott not to at least be on the bench, or even start, when we literally have no other strikers and can’t score goals. I thought Jose was supposed to be a ‘tactical genius’?
Alex, London: Totally agree with Mr Waddle. The legend Tells it how it is. Parrott should be in there, could be the next Kane. You don’t know until you try, that’s a basic rule.
Phil Kemp: Jose says Troy Parrott isn’t ready, but on this evidence, it appears none of our front line is “ready” – surely Parrott becomes a credible option after this?