Mauricio Pochettino outlines what keeps Tottenham a step behind their rivals

A much changed Tottenham Hotspur side were dumped out of the League Cup by Arsenal on Wednesday night.

Mauricio Pochettino has suggested fixture scheduling is placing his side ‘a step behind’ their biggest rivals, in his press conference – shown above - following Wednesday night’s defeat to Arsenal.

Spurs competed well in what was an even encounter, but fell to two Mathieu Flamini strikes and the Argentine feels their lack of preparation time needs to be taken into account.

“It’s disappointing to lose to your enemy but we have to be happy with the way we played despite the result,” said Pochettino.

“We now have another tough game on Saturday and have one less day to prepare because Manchester City played yesterday.

“Same with Arsenal, they played on Saturday and we played Sunday so we are always a step behind and this is important to recognise,” he added.

Tottenham’s participation in the Europa League is the cause of their unfavourable schedule, and much has been made over the disruptive effects of participating in Europe’s second tier competition.

Spurs have a squad capable of effectively rotating, but that doesn’t prevent disruption to training with Thursday night games, particularly when away from home.

Pochettino’s comments may be an attempt to deflect attention from his team selection, which saw the error-prone Federico Fazio make his first appearance of the season and back-up keeper Michel Vorm come in – only to gift Arsenal their opening goal.

A stronger Spurs team would likely have triumphed on the night, but rotation is necessary with Manchester City followed up by tough trips to Monaco and Swansea in an eight-day period.

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