Tottenham boss Pochettino: I don't make excuses, but here's mine anyway

Tottenham head coach Mauricio Pochettino says the club were negatively affected by having to play in the Europa League days before the cup final.

Tottenham were beaten finalists in the Capital One Cup final as Jose Mourinho's Chelsea side won 2-0 at Wembley. 

Head coach Mauricio Pochettino expressed his disappointment after the game, speaking to SkySports, thanking fans and congratulating Chelsea.

The Argentine was keen not to talk up the impact of playing days earlier in the Europa League, but admitted it was a factor.

He said: "It was difficult to prepare for this final, with us playing on Thursday. I am not making an excuse, but this is the reality."

Could have been worse

Spurs were knocked out of the Europa League by Fiorentina, but it could have been worse. The 2-0 defeat could have gone to extra-time, and taken more out of his players.

It also could have been a closer, narrower defeat, which would have played even more in the minds of the players. 

Injuries would also have made the loss even tougher, as it too would have been had Pochettino played his first choice XI in the second leg in Italy, instead resting key players like Harry Kane.

Almost worked in their favour

It was a negative in part because they lost, but had Tottenham won in Italy, the momentum could have helped them.

The team would have gone into the game at Wembley on a high, but instead the loss was a psychological blow ahead of the clash, adding extra pressure onto a team to win against a very difficult and more experienced opponent.

An inescapable reality

Pochettino is not deliberately making an excuse, he is simply stating the reality. Tottenham had three days of focus on the final, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, while Chelsea had an entire week.

The Blues not only had this extra preparation time, but did not have the mental and physical exertion of flying to Italy, and being knocked out of a competition just days ahead of the Wembley clash.

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