Mourinho admits Spurs player still can't play for 90 minutes, and another can't start

Erik Lamela of Tottenham Hotspur celebrates following his sides victory after the Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on...

Tottenham Hotspur brought both Tanguy Ndombele and Erik Lamela off the bench against RB Leipzig last night.

Jose Mourinho, Manager of Tottenham Hotspur reacts during the Premier League match between Manchester City and West Ham United at Etihad Stadium on February 19, 2020 in Manchester, United...

Jose Mourinho has told BT Sport, during their live Champions League coverage, that Tanguy Ndombele and Erik Lamela are not fit enough to start for Tottenham Hotspur currently.

Spurs brought Ndombele and Lamela on to the pitch late on last night, during their defeat to RB Leipzig, and the pair changed the game.

Ndombele provided Tottenham with more creativity in the middle, while Lamela’s battling qualities were immediately on display out wide.

There were some suggestions after the game that Mourinho should have started both Ndombele and Lamela.

 

But Mourinho has hit back at those claims, and suggested that the duo simply were not fit enough to play for the full match.

"I know Lamela could only give us 20 minutes and I knew Ndombele could not play for 90 minutes. I tried to manage the pieces I had,” Mourinho said.

"Don't tell me Lamela and Ndombele could have started the game, they couldn't have started the game.”

Tanguy Ndombele of Tottenham Hotspur during the FA Cup Fourth Round Replay match between Tottenham Hotspur and Southampton FC at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on February 5, 2020 in London,...

Lamela is only just returning from injury, so his fitness issues are understandable.

Ndombele’s inability to play a full match is more of a concern though.

Spurs broke their transfer record to bring in the French international in the summer, but his fitness issues have plagued his time with the Lilywhites so far.

Ndombele has shown flashes of real quality during his time on the pitch, but until he improves his stamina he will not be able to play a key role at Tottenham.

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