Everton manager David Moyes has warned midfielder Tim Cahill he faces burn-out as he battles to lift the Toffees out of a sticky patch.
Cahill, 29, has missed just two of Everton's 15 games this season and coupled that with exhausting trips to play for Australia. And Cahill is expected to be in the thick of things again in the Carling Cup fourth-round tie at Spurs.
Moyes said: "Tim is a terrific player for us with his effort and endeavour, and we need that. It is part of the spirit of this club and he has been a big part of that."
He continued: "But we must remember that Tim is not getting any younger, either. He has travelled a long way around the world to play for Australia earlier in the month, so at some point there is going to be an effect on his game.
"A lot depends on how he looks after himself and prepares for games.
"But ideally, and I hate to keep making the point, if there were a few more lads fit then I may be able to give him a rest, but at the moment we do not have that luxury because of the situation we are in."
Moyes believes Everton's cause is not being helped by having to play three games in six days and he is angry the tie at Spurs could not have been moved on a day.
But TV requirements, and police concerns about two sets of Merseyside travelling fans in the capital on the same day, meant it was Liverpool's trip to Arsenal that was switched to Wednesday for TV coverage.
That left Everton forced to play their tie in north London, two days after facing Bolton in the league.
Coming on the back of a Europa League game in Lisbon against Benfica on Thursday, and Sunday's trip to Bolton - both matches finishing in defeat -Moyes' mood has not been calmed.
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