Jose Mourinho said that no team in the world would be able to cope with the amount of injuries sustained by the key players that Tottenham suffered.
Without Harry Kane, Moussa Sissoko, Heung-min Son and Steven Bergwijn, Spurs left the Champions League with an overall 4-0 loss against RB Leipzig in the group of 16.
The defeat for the Bundesliga means that Tottenham’s last hope of winning silverware this season has gone away thanks to two goals from Marcel Sabitzer and one from Emil Forsberg.
“It seems obvious that problems accumulate with the accumulation of injuries,” said the manager later.
“If you want to do an exercise and imagine Leipzig tonight without Sabitzer, [Patrik] Schick, [Timo] Werner, do you think they would win the way they did?
“Do you go to the European champions and do an exercise? Liverpool without [Mohamed] Salah, [Sadio] Mane, [Jordan] Henderson, [Roberto] Firmino.
“You want to go to Spain and do Barcelona without it [Antoine] Griezmann, [Lionel] Messi, [Luis] Suarez.
“Do you want to do this exercise with all the teams in the world?”
Tottenham, seven points behind Chelsea’s fourth place, will have to play Manchester United and Mourinho recognizes the enormous task he faces in bringing the Spurs back to the Champions League, a competition in which they reached last season.
“With the team we have at the moment, it will be very, very difficult,” he added.
“These problems will not disappear overnight.
“But we have games to play, games to fight in. You can see in our Premier League games that we fight to the end.
“In the Premier League we have no results where we have had no chance to fight for points.
“When we lost the games, we lost the games 2-1, 3-2, 1-0. We had draws, so it’s not like we don’t fight.
“So we will fight and the players will have to be very strong to fight with the limits we have.
“This time we won’t be recovering any players for next Sunday. At least we have a small period, not just two days as we always have, we have four days in between. “
As manager of Tottenham, Mourinho has lost all three of his league games against teams he previously managed – one against Man United, two against Chelsea. In his previous 16 league games against his former teams in Portugal and England, he has only lost twice, winning nine and drawing five.
However, Tottenham lost their last home league 3-2 against the Wolves and the last time they lost their subsequent home games in the league was in January 2019, with those defeats against Wolves and Man United.