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English Premiership

Pochettino fumes as fixtures give Spurs ‘massive’ task

Mauricio Pochettino is unhappy with the fixtures ahead of Tottenham’s clash with Borussia Dortmund © AFP / Glyn KIRK

LONDON, United Kingdom, Feb 10Mauricio Pochettino claims Tottenham will have a “massive disadvantage” in their Champions League clash with Borussia Dortmund after being forced to play Leicester on Sunday.

Pochettino’s side beat Leicester 3-1 at Wembley in a Premier League match moved to Sunday to satisfy the demands of the sport’s television paymasters.

In contrast, Bundesliga leaders Dortmund have an extra 24 hours rest before their Champions League last 16 first leg clash with Tottenham in London on Wednesday.

Dortmund played Hoffenheim in a 3-3 draw on Saturday and Tottenham manager Pochettino made it clear he was furious with the scheduling.

“I’m so disappointed and embarrassed by it. I can accept to play today if Dortmund play today and then we play on Wednesday,” Pochettino told reporters.

“I can’t understand why we are playing with such a massive disadvantage.

“It doesn’t mean we can’t compete, but for me it doesn’t make sense. We had one week clear to play this game and schedule it on another day.”

Pochettino says Tottenham and the other Premier League teams in Europe are already at a disadvantage because of the winter breaks given to German, Italian and Spanish teams.

“We came from a tough Christmas period when the teams in Germany and Spain were enjoying some holidays,” he said.

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“If you want to be on the same level you need the same situation.”

But Pochettino insisted he wouldn’t use the fixture issue as an excuse if Tottenham fail to beat Dortmund over two legs.

“It’s not going to be an excuse. Today will be the last time I say this message. I think you understand very well my feelings. The message is not Pochettino is crying,” he said.

“We believe we can beat them and are going to give our best.

“During this season we are fighting a lot of circumstances and this is one more.”

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