Tottenham Hotspur manager Jose Mourinho has claimed that the odds are stacked against his side to qualify for the Champions League next season, reported The Guardian.
“With the squad we have at the moment it is going to be very, very difficult,” Mourinho said.
“Our problems are not going to disappear tomorrow. We will fight until the end.”
Speaking to the press after his side’s Champions League Round of 16 exit at the hands of RB Leipzig on Tuesday, Mourinho said that the club has got real problems with key players ruled out due to injury.
Mourinho’s side were blown out of the water by their German opponents as they lost 3-0 on the night and 4-0 on aggregate.
The Portuguese claimed that all of the players on Leipzig’s bench in the second leg would have started for his Tottenham side.
The gulf in quality was glaring with Spurs managing to create few meaningful opportunities without their usual attacking firepower.
Spurs were without the services of Steven Bergwijn, Ben Davies, Harry Kane, Davinson Sánchez, Moussa Sissoko and Son Heung-min against Leipzig.
“We have lots of problems and it’s really difficult,” Mourinho added.
“I was positive yesterday but that’s the way I have to be. The reality is a different thing. One team is much stronger. Of course it was difficult and Leipzig clearly deserve to get to the quarter-finals.
“Every team in the world would struggle with five or six of their most important players missing. It’s as simple as that.
“All the players on the Leipzig bench would play at this moment in my team.”
Things may get worse at the weekend as Spurs host in-form Manchester United in the Premier League.
The North Londoners are in eighth place, seven points behind Chelsea in fourth and four behind Sunday’s opponents United in fifth and are winless in six matches across all competitions.
Mourinho stated that he is not expecting any player to return for the United match which is crucial for their Champions League hopes but claimed that his players will fight as they have in the Premier League recently despite unfavourable results.
“In the Premier League we don’t have results where we have no chance to fight for the points. We lost 3-2, 2‑1, 1-0, we had draws, so it’s not like we can’t fight,” he continued.
“We are not going to recover any players for Sunday but at least we have a little period, four days, so at least from a physical point we can react.”
Even fifth place may guarantee Champions League football next season with the impending ban on Manchester City which should give hope to the Tottenham faithful.
A win on Sunday will bring them to within one point of United, possibly boosting their hopes and injecting some fight into the side.