Mauricio Pochettino has said that his side are facing “two cup finals” in the space of four days as they take on Fiorentina and Chelsea this week.
It is made harder for Tottenham owing to the fact that they have to travel to Italy for their Europa League tie with Fiorentina having played the first leg at home. They then have to return home to London for the Capital One Cup final against Chelsea at Wembley on Sunday.
The first of their “cup finals” is on Thursday and they already face an uphill battle, as they have to score in Italy to give them any chance of going through. Spurs drew the first leg 1-1 with Fiorentina getting an away goal making the task harder for Pochettino’s side.
However, as Spurs have shown this season, you can never count them out as they stay in matches right until the very end. They are going to have to show some of the character and fighting spirit they had at the weekend against West Ham in order to get back in this tie.
Chelsea will head to Wembley having not played for a week so will have had the full week to prepare for the game and will be fresh when they arrive at Wembley.
But Pochettino insists that his team can cope with the schedule they have put on themselves, after all, they have won games to get in these positions.
He said: “It will be a difficult game. I think this is our first final before Sunday as Fiorentina are only one game from going into the next round. We know that we need to score with the score being 1-1 but we are confident. We are confident to take the game on Thursday and try to get the victory.”
One game at a time
Asked whether or not he might think about resting key players on Thursday with the view of treating the final at Wembley against Chelsea as more important.
He said: "We need to focus on the game on Thursday. Thursday is a similar game.
"It is another final and we need to decide [on who plays] because we have played two very tough games against Fiorentina and West Ham. So we need to analyse and decide the strongest team to play.”
It will be interesting to see what sort of side the Argentinian picks for Thursday especially with Sunday in mind but realistically he should be able to field his strongest side in both games. It’s only February, and his players should be able to cope with playing two games in a week, especially if one is a cup final, that should spur the players on, no pun intended.
Come Monday morning, Spurs could be in the next round of the Europa League and the winners of the Capital One Cup. But by the same token, They could be out of the Europa League and be the runners up in the Capital One Cup, but if they are, tiredness, and their European schedule shouldn't be excuses.