Mauricio Pochettino says he is “embarrassed” by an apparent fixture disadvantage ahead of Tottenham’s Champions League clash against Borussia Dortmund.
Spurs beat Leicester 3-1 at Wembley on Sunday and host the Bundesliga leaders in the Champions League last 16 on Wednesday night.
Why is Pochettino so angry over fixture schedule? Five key things to know…
- Spurs beat Leicester City 3-1 at Wembley on Sunday to stay just five points off the top of the Premier League.
- Current Bundesliga leaders, Dortmund, drew 3-3 with Hoffenheim on Saturday, despite leading 3-0.
- The two clubs are set to clash in the Champions League on Wednesday.
- Pochettino is “embarrassed” that Dortmund have had an extra day to prepare for the clash.
- The Argentine coach feels this small margin puts his side at a big disadvantage.
Dortmund, though, have had an extra day to prepare for the clash having played their last fixture on Saturday – a spectacular 3-3 draw with Hoffenheim where they were leading 3-0 after 66 minutes.
And Pochettino believes this small margin could make a huge difference at this stage of the competition when stakes are so high.
“I feel so embarrassed because I can accept to play today [Sunday] if Dortmund play today and then we play Wednesday, but I cannot understand why we’re playing with a massive disadvantage.
“Twenty-four hours in this type of competition, the last 16, is a massive disadvantage.”
With Leicester and Spurs both out of the FA Cup, neither side will be playing a domestic game in the coming weekend, leaving Pochettino at an even bigger loss as to why the Premier League didn’t reschedule the game for that free slot.
“It is so difficult to understand why, when we had one week clear to play this game and to schedule it on a different day,” the Argentine added.
“I am explaining my feelings and how difficult it is to prepare a game when you only have today and then you’re going to need to play. Then in different things we came from a very tough period.”
Pochettino: My players are heroes
With this subject clearly touching a nerve with Pochettino, the 46-year-old then harked back to a point earlier in the season when Spurs had to face Manchester City in a Monday night, before heading to West Ham for a League Cup match the following Wednesday.
Spurs only fell to a 1-0 defeat against an in-form Man City side in that clash back in October before beating West Ham 3-1. For this, as well as the commitment showed throughout the rest of this seasons so far, Pochettino hailed his players.
“During this season we are fighting a lot of circumstances this season and that is one more,” he said.
“Remember when we played Manchester City on a Monday and played West Ham at the London Stadium in the Carabao Cup on Wednesday. We played Monday evening and Wednesday evening.
“People talk about this squad but my players are heroes.
“What happens happens at the end of the season, they are going to be remembered, if we win some title, in the history but if not in the history too because all of the circumstances against how we are fighting and showing character is amazing.”