Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho has urged Gareth Southgate to ‘respect’ his side’s chaotic fixture schedule and not overplay the likes of Harry Kane during the upcoming international break.
Spurs host Maccabi Haifa in their Europa League play-off clash on Thursday – their sixth match in just 14 days. Indeed, after the tussle with Haifa, Mourinho’s men face a trip to take on Manchester United on Sunday before a number of players leave on international duty.
It has been a hectic start to the season for Tottenham, and Mourinho recently complained about the schedule when discussing his side’s Carabao Cup tie with Chelsea – a game which the north London club won on penalties last time out.
The Portuguese has now urged England boss Southgate not to overplay the likes of Kane in their three upcoming matches. The Three Lions first take on Wales in a friendly before then facing Belgium and Denmark in the Nations League, but Mourinho has stressed that three games will be ‘too much’ for his players.
“Three games are obviously too much, especially for my players,” Mourinho said ahead of Spurs’ Europa League match (as quoted by the Guardian). “When Kane is fit he should start every game for Tottenham but he didn’t [against Chelsea]. So I think this is the point. When you have such a player and you want to win every match, you play him, but you just can’t do it.
“I believe that Gareth [Southgate] and Steve [Holland, the assistant manager] care about the players and I don’t think they want to be connected with something that can be a consequence of this week and the three international matches.”
Mourinho added that he hopes the coaches will ‘respect’ the current situation and, as a result, will not overplay them and risk fatigue or injuries. He continued: “I don’t speak with Gareth or Steve. I just let them do the job in the way they want to do it with the freedom they deserve.
“Hopefully Gareth and Steve understand what happened with Tottenham this week and they respect the players. That’s just my hope but I’m not going to call or ask or beg.”
Along with Kane, both Eric Dier and Harry Winks are expected to be called up to the England squad when it is announced on Thursday. But before departing for international duty, they will be looking to help Spurs successfully navigate this tricky period.