Jose Mourinho has said injury concerns are on the rise at Tottenham but was hesitant to reveal who will miss Thursday’s Premier League game against Liverpool.
Spurs host the Reds in the middle of an eight-game unbeaten streak, but slipped to sixth in the Premier League table, a point behind their opponents – they had occupied the top two places before the reverse game at Anfield .
A win from either side could rekindle their title ambitions, and although Liverpool’s injury issues have been well documented, Mourinho said Spurs are also struggling secretly.
When asked if full-backs Matt Doherty and Ben Davies were still unavailable for Thursday’s game, he replied lethargically: “Yeah, and we’ve got more issues that I’m not going to share. You’ll have to wait until tomorrow but we’ve got a little more trouble than that. “
He added that despite Liverpool’s fitness issues and poor form, now is never the right time to play them.
“No,” he said when asked if it was an advantage to play for Liverpool now. “I don’t feel that at all. [To] playing Liverpool is [to] to play in Liverpool, independent of the whole context, independent of everything. I don’t think it’s an advantage, I don’t think it’s a disadvantage, simple. “
Mourinho admitted he was sensitive to Liverpool’s problem at the back, noting that players like Virgil van Dijk were irreplaceable, comparing the situation to one where Spurs had to play without Harry Kane and Son Heung-min last season.
“Well, we played half the season last season without any attacking players,” he added. “We had a period where we played Lucas every minute of every game, [at] striker, winger, winger, striker. We lost Son, we lost Kane, we lost Bergwijn. We have lost everyone.
“How did we do it? Miracles? We cannot do it. So to make right-back or left-back or goalie strikers – can Joe Hart play the striker because he’s very tall and strong? You cannot do miracles. You have to try to compensate with what you have.
“When you speak of Van Dijk, you cannot replace [him]. There are some players that you cannot replace. It’s like when Harry Kane was injured, you can’t replace Harry Kane, you can’t replace Van Dijk. “
Mourinho has also said he doesn’t expect Dele Alli to leave the club until the transfer window is over, but cannot rule out a departure for sure.
“I expect to [him to still be here],” he said. “I’ve been saying this since the start of the transfer window. I didn’t expect anyone to leave, I didn’t expect anyone to come.
“So far, January 27, we are almost at the end. I don’t believe anything is going to happen but it’s still open. “