Mauricio Pochettino has insisted he will not be wailing over Tottenham’s long list of absentees ahead of their Champions League game against Apoel Nicosia on Tuesday.
Christian Eriksen will be the seventh players unavailable for the match in Cyprus after the Dane fell ill on Sunday and was unable even to travel with the Spurs squad.
He joins the suspended Jan Vertonghen and Dele Alli in missing out, along with Mousa Dembele, Danny Rose, Victor Wanyama and Erik Lamela, who are all injured.
“It’s not an excuse to have some players out of the squad,” Pochettino said. “Christian is a very important player for us. It’s true we will miss him but we need to move on, we need to find a way to play and perform and try to win.
“He is ill, he stays in London, and we trust the player who comes into his position. I am not a manager who cries because a player cannot play.
“It’s about the team, the squad, quality, effort and we have a very strong squad to try to win.”
“Our supporters might expect us to win but we know very well the Champions League is very tough and this is a tough game waiting for us,” Pochettino said. “Apoel are very tough. I watched them in their local league and against Real Madrid. They have good players.
“It is important to take the game and respect them because we need to win. It’s so important. First we need to fight and play better than them and show we deserve the three points.”
Tottenham’s squad turned out to be too thin last season to compete with the extra demands of the Champions League — and within matches they were also guilty of being tactically weak.