Jose Mourinho has suggested Tottenham could do with the Europa League restarting in order to recover from their poor form.
Spurs suffered their third successive Premier League defeat on Thursday, the night of the week on which they played plenty of Europa League football during the first half of the season.
Having won their group, the Londoners are now waiting for their Round of 32 tie against Austrian side Wolfsberger – the first leg takes place later this month.
And speaking ahead of a must-win league match against West Brom this weekend, Mourinho has hinted Tottenham’s poor league form could be something to do with how much they have put into the Europa League.
As relayed by the London Evening Standard, Mourinho said: “It (the West Brom game) is a very important match for us. But the reality is that, until the end of the month, we have great motivations in front of us.
“The Europa League is something that, since the beginning, we put a lot on. I cannot forget that we had to play so many games to qualify for the group phase, and games with two days in between, travelling around Europe to do it. So we want, the team wants, the team is waiting for that. And maybe the squad needs that.
“But let’s focus on West Bromwich because it’s the next match and, after three defeats, we have to win. We cannot even think a different thing.”
It seems Mourinho is simply trying to remind his critics that Spurs still have a good chance of winning silverware this term despite their worrying league form.
They are in the League Cup final, still competing in the FA Cup and are one of the favourites to win the Europa League, which could be the easiest avenue into next season’s Champions League – particularly if they don’t improve domestically.