Harry Winks has suggested it was “tough” to accept Nuno Espirito Santo’s decision to leave 10 first-team players at home for Tottenham’s Europa Conference League trip to the Netherlands on Thursday.
Spurs lost 1-0 to Vitesse having made 11 changes to the team that won 3-2 at Newcastle United in the Premier League on Sunday. All 10 outfield players who started at St James’ Park did not travel to Holland.
Winks and his fellow reserve players failed to impress, which was particularly disappointing as the expectation was for some of them to prove why they should be starting Premier League games.
Speaking after the match, Winks admitted he and his teammates underperformed but appeared to show dissent when asked about Nuno’s squad decision.
“It is tough,” Winks said (via the London Evening Standard). “We’re meant to be a team. It’s meant to be competition. It’s meant to be competitive. Everybody should be fighting for weekend games and it’s difficult. Motivation should be everybody fighting for the same cause and the same thing.
“But when we go out on that pitch and we’re not playing in the [first] team, we’ve got to put that right, make a point and show the manager we should be playing in the team. And when we lose in the way that we did, we don’t do that. It’s down to us but there’s a lot of factors behind that.
“We’re Tottenham and whoever goes out on the pitch, we should be winning these kind of games. There’s no excuses.
“We didn’t play well enough. They outfought us, they outplayed us. They played a better way, with more creativity. In my opinion, they completely dominated us. It’s not good enough. It’s not good enough for Tottenham. We’ve got to come to these places and dominate and win.”
Surely now Winks will be looking to move on in January, particularly if his game time doesn’t increase by then – and let’s be honest, it’s unlikely to. The 25-year-old really should consider leaving if he is to revive his England career.