Mauricio Pochettino says he must continue to rotate his squad if Tottenham are to have a chance of beating Barcelona in the Champions League next month.
Spurs kept their hopes of reaching the knockout stages of the competition alive on Wednesday night with a 1-0 victory over Inter Milan at Wembley thanks to Christian Eriksen’s late winner.
Eriksen and Heung-Min Son both started the game on the bench despite their excellent performances against Chelsea just days prior.
Tottenham have been battling through an injury crisis for most of the season, with a number of key players missing games due to muscle strains and other fitness issues.
And Pochettino has said rotation is the only way Spurs will be prepared to overcome Barcelona, which they must do to reach the Round of 16 in the Champions League.
“We have big respect for Barcelona, one of the best teams in Europe,” Pochettino said after Wednesday’s crucial win (via ESPN).
“Of course, they have unbelievable players and it’ll be so tough – but one thing we have is our belief and faith we can win. We only need to show again a good level to compete at our best.
“To arrive at Barcelona and compete in our best we need to have fresh legs, fresh minds, no injuries. To arrive in that way in Barcelona we need to manage and we need to rotate the squad. If not, the demands of the Premier League are so tough.
“We’re playing in the Champions League and the [Carabao] Cup against Arsenal at the Emirates. Playing games every three days is so tough – so tough for us, and for our players it’s so, so difficult. They’re not going to have one day off until January.”
Some supporters were confused by Pochettino’s decision to leave Eriksen and Son out against Inter, but the Argentinian’s plan worked in the end.
Is Pochettino right about rotation? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.